Skip to main content

Full text of "Warren Hastings in Bengal, 1772-1774, with appendixes of hitherto unpublished documents"

See other formats




J ' 


1772-1774 ■ 




O X F O R'D 
At the Clarendon Press^ A.D. ipi8 


Few makers of English histC^y are better known by name 
to their countrymen than Warren Hastings, but those who 
narrate his career or criticize his poHcy have given little 
prominence to a vital side of his workj 

In 1765 Clive selS^up a Dual system (/f administration in 
Bengal which rendered the next seven years the worst in 
the country's history. In 1772 Warren Hastings became 
President and reorganized the government, now actually 
assumed for the first time by the English. Attention has 
been so focused on his disputes with Philip Francis and the 
consequent trial that his economic, civil, and judicial measures 
for relieving the distressed natives often escape notice. The 
aim of this book has been to try to correct the balance by 
presenting an account of them in the words of the Company's 
servants themselves, adding in the introductory chapters no 
more than was necessary to connect the documents on one 
thread — for, like Hastings, * I am little more than the com- 
piler of other men's opinions '. * 

For several reasons the period treated is confined to the 
two years 1772 to 1774. Hastings governed the three Presi- 
dencies for eleven years atter Lord No?;th's Regulating Act, 
but he was Governor of Bengal for two years before it, and it 
is in the civil administration ;^et up during those two^ears that 
the foundations of our system in India were laid. Hastings 
brought twenty-three years of Indian experience to the work : 
for those two years his hands were free ; he planned, organized, 
and executed his own policy unhindered ; it is by the action 
he then took that he must stand or fall. Whether the object 
of s judy be his character or the justice of our rule in India the 
years that follow can best be understood in the light of his 
original aims, for much of the legislation of the three succeeding 
decades was designed either to carry out those aims or to 
prevent their fulfilment. 

Much the larger part of the documents have been drawn 
from the manuscripts at the India Office, the rest from the 
Winter collection at the British Museum. In attempting their 
interpretation I have been guided by the modern authorities 

viii ^ PREFApEl! ♦ 

I am deeply indebted to the courtesy;' of the members 
of the Record and Library departments of the India Office * 
for clues to the labyrinthine wealth of ma'nuscript corre- 
spondence and help in elucidating native terms. Mr. S. C. 
Hill has aided me generously bj'" reading and criticizing my 
chapters, and by bringing his wide experience to bear upon 
'^difficulties, while to him is(" ie the int'ereJting map repro- 
duced from the Orme Manuscripts. , 

Permission to reproduce the two fine portraits of Warren 
Hastings has been most courteously accorded by my friends 
Mrs. Wansbrough \^nd Mr. MacGregor. The Abbot shows 
him at approximate\y the date of his finp^ return to England. 
It has always been in the hands of his sister, Mns. Woodman, 
and her descendants. In the second we have perhaps a work 
of ,the early seventies, just the period of the reforms. The 
well-known painting by T. B. Kettle in the National Portrait 
Gallery is probably a replica of this more complete portrait, 
which experts are inclined to attribute to the same artist.. 
The characterization is here, in my opinion, more delicate 
and the colouring truer to life, while there is greater finish 
in some details of the costume. The picture has passed in 
a direct line to the present owner from his ancestor, John 
Stewart, Judge Advocate-General, who either purchased or 
received it as a gift from Hastings himself. 
* My gratitude is due above all to my former tutor. Professor 
Ramsay Muir, without whose encouragement and guidance 
the book would not have been attempted, and to whose 
patient revision and^ illuminating criticism it owes 'what clain> ' 
it may have to the attention of students of India'n history. 
For the spieling of Indian names' and terms I have consulted 
the Imperial Gazetteer^ H. W. Wilson's Glossary^ and Gules' 
Hobson-Jobson, except' in a few cases where the word has 
become anglicized or it has seemed wiser to use the fcrm 
prevailing in the documents. The spelling and punctuatioij 
of the original documents have been adhered to except in 
a few cases where the eighteenth-century use of cap'ital 
letters has not been reproduced. 

Since many inaccuracies must, I fear, stili remain, despite 
much time and many efforts spent to remove them, I would 
plead the 'disabilities of one who is neither an Indian official 
^ n6r in any direct contact with the life of India, but drawn to 
the subject merely by its inherent interest. 

Duke's Ride, Crowthorne, Berks. 


I)) ' 



I. THE NATiyE STATE . ^ . 

Appendix : Anonymous A<3;itint of Bengal 





Appendix : Hastings's report of silk trade ... 46 

III. I 757-1 772 • • • • • . • • -47 

Appendix : Fi'^^t Offer of Diwani to Cli ^-e : 

1. Disipatch from Calcutta Board to the Court of 

Directors ....... 67 

2. Accounts of Kasim Ali and His Government. 

Memorial written by W, Hastings, undated . 68 
Extract from the Letter of a Servant at Murshi- 

dabad to the Calcutta Board ... 70 
Minute of Mr. Sumner on the Method of Revenue 

Collections . . . . . . -71 

3. Arrangements made on the Accession of Nujum-ud- 

Daula : Minute by Mr. Gray protesting against 
the Treaty concluded by President Spencer 
and the Council ...... 72 

4. Reports of Committees of the House of Commons. 

To Writers : ist Covenants issued in 1756, 
in use till July 1770. 2nd Covenants issued 
May 1 764, in nse till July 1 772. 3rd Covenants 
issued July 1770, in use till J^^ly 1772 . . 74 

5. Trade Abuses in 1765: 

Letter from Mohamed Reza Khan sent to the Secret 

Committee at Calcutta ... . • 75 

Resolution of the Secret Committee t^-ken in conse- 
3 quence on the same Date . . . . 76 

^ Letter from Mohamed Reza Khan, received 

October 4, 1765 . . . . . - 77 

Orders of the Select Committee . . . -77 
Letter from Francis Sykes on the subject of the 

Custom-houses ...... 78 

Second Letter from F. Sykes .... 79 

Third Letter from F. Sykes . . . . 79 

Regulations issued by the Secret Committee, circu- 
lated by the Ministers to the Zemindars and 
Officers of Government, with passages from 
Sykes 's draft omitted or modified in the Secret 
Committee's official version .... 80 




F. Sykes's Conception of the Office of Diwan 
Trade Abuses, 1 765-1 769: Letter from Becher 

Resident at Murshidabad in sii/)cession t^ 

F. Sykes . ,. < . 
Minute by Verelst on Trade Abuses 
6. Supervisorships. IX iments from tHfe Cbrrespon- 

dence of the Secret Committee at Calcutta 
Letter from Becher, Resident at Murshidabad 
Orders to the Supervisors issued on August 16 

1769 ^ ' . . . . . 
Further Orders to the Supervisory 
Effect of the Supervisorship. Reports c of the 


f. 7. Reports of the Famine of 1770: 

Report from Mohamed Ali Khan, Faujdar of Pumea 

to Mr, Becher, Resident at Murshidabad 
Report from Uj agger Mull, Amil of Jessore . 
Report of Mr. Ducarel to Mr. Becher . 


Appendix : Report on the Investment made by . 
Hastings to the Council at Madras 

Appendix : 

I. List of the most important Dispatches sent in the years 
1769 to 1773 by the Cpuri of Dire tors to the 
President and Council of Bengal 

1. Instructions to Commissioners .... 

2. tetter to the Commissioners, dated March 23, 


3. Hastings s Abstract of the Directors' Letter of 

March 23, 1770, to the President and Council . 

4. Hastings's Abstract of the Letter of April 10, 1771 

5. General Letter to President and Council 

6. General Letter of March 25, 1772, to President 

and Council ...... 

7. General Letter of April 7, 1773, to President and 

Council ....... 

8.,, Letter of April 16, 1773 ..... 

« II. Hastings's Views and Plans : 

9. Letter to Mr. Purling, Chairman of the Court of 
Directors, 1 771-2 ..... 

io. Letter to Mr. Colebrooke, Chairman of the Court 
of Directors, 1772-3 ^ . . . . 

III. The Proposed Regulations ..... 


















' CpNTENTs' 



Appendix : 

1. Letter to Mr. Purling, Chairman of the Court of 

Directors, 177,1-2 ..... 181 

2. Letter to Clive . . . . . .182 

3. Letter from the Secre^ pepartment of the Calcutta 

Council . K' 183 

4. General Letter, Secret Department . . .184 

5. General Letter from the Select Committee . .184 

6. General Letter, Secret Department . . .185 

7. General^etter, Secret Departmf.nt . . .186 

8. The TreJ^V of Benares . . . . .187 

9. General Letter, Secret Committee . . .188 

10. President's Minute . . . . . .189 

11. The Nawab's Household . . . . .191 

12. The Inquiry into the Conduct of Mohamed Reza 

Khan . . ' . . . . . 193 

13. President's Letter to the Secret Committee of the 

Court of Directors . . . . '195 

14. Trial and Fate of Rajah Shitab Roy . . .198 

15. Regulations proposed for Standing Orders of 

Council ....... 199 

16. Letter to Mr. Sulivan ..... 200 

17. The Board of Inspection ..... 203 

18. Board of Inspection {continued) .... 204 ' 

19. Appointment of Mr. Barwell to be Chief of Dacca 

and Mr. Lane to be Chief of Patna . . 204 

20. Board of Inspection, Auditor, ^c. . . . 205 
2r. Reform of the Military Establishment. Pargana 

Battalions abolished . . . ' . . 206 

22. Hastings's Letter to Colebrooke, Chairman of 

Directors . . . . . ' . . . 206 

23. Dacoits . . . . . . w . 207 

24. Kuch Behar and Sunnyasis . . . . 212 

25. Punishment of Mutiny . . . . .213 

26. Operations against the Bhutanese (Capt. Stewart's 

Orders) . . . . . . .214 

27. Bhutanese and Sunnyasis : Further Operations . 216 

28. Sunnyasis . . . . . . .217 

29. Hill-men of Rajmahal « . . . .217 

Appendix : Trade Reform and Finance : 

1. Company's Investment . . . . . 236 

2. Company's Investment {continued) . . .236 

3. Comptroller appointed 238 

xii ' contents ' ' 


4. High Prices result from Open Trade . . .238 

5. Abolition of Dustuks . . . . .239 

6. Minute regarding the Future Arrangement of the 

Customs ....... 240 

7. The Monopolies. Salt . . ... .246 

8. First Regulations issu^j^^ . . / <- . .247 

9. Answer to Mr. Baber's Appeal on behalf of Con- 

tractors ....... 248 

10. Modification of the First Regulations : Letter from 

Mr. Lushington of Hugli .... 248 

11. Salt Lands farmed on Five-year Le/ ies . '249 

12. Failure to sell the Salt . . . ,^ •251 

13. ' My own Salt Plan ' . ..... 251 

14. Opium Monopoly . . . . . • . 252 

15. Bank 253 


Appendix : 

1. The Lease System . . . . . .266 

2. Separate Regulations (enclosed in Letter to Cole- 

brooke, March 26, 1772) .... 268 

3. Summary of the Resolutions for the Settlement of 

the Lands . . . . . . '274 

c 4, Obstacles to a true Assessment of Values . .275 

5. Midnapore Settlement . . . . -277 

6. Duration of Leases in Bihar . . . .278 

7. Report of Revenue Plans in 'Bihar . . -279 

8. Plan of a '^ew Settlement, 1775: Minute of 

Hastings and Barwell , . , . .280 

IX. REVENUE . 287 

Appendix : 

1. Creation of Calcutta Committee of Revenue 

(Letter from the Secretary to the Members of 

the New Committee) . . . . .203 

2. Revenue Returns, 1770 and 1771 . . . 293 

3. Regulations for the Khalsa . . . .295 

4. Revenues of Bengal, 1765-71 .... 296 

5. Account of Revenues, 1 771 .... 296 
j6. feanungoes (Account of Mr. Baber, Resident at 

Midnapore, and consequent Reduction of their 
Powers) ....... 297 

7^ State of the Country, 1773 .... 300 

8. Revenues of Bihar and Kuch Behar . . . 302 

^ ' CONTENTS^ xiii 


9. New Plan of Revenue Department (Letter to Mr. 

Boulton, Chairman of the Court, 1 773-4) . 303 
10. Perjnanent and Temporary Plans of Revenue 

Reform . * . . . . . 304 


Appendix : .af^' 

1. Plan for the Administration of Justice . . .324 

2. The New Calcutta Courts of Justice of 1772 . 326 

3. The Mayor's Court . . . . . .328 

4. Hastings's Letters to the Revenue Board on the 

subNct of Criminal Law and to Middle ton, 
1 Resident at Murshidabad, enclosing Nizaraut 

Records ....... 329 

5. Inferior Courts 335 

6. Hastings's Views on Native Law . . .337 



1 4e 


Warren Hastings, aged about 40. 

From the painting by Kettle (?) inherited by Cortland 
MacGregor, Esq., from his ancestor John Stewart, Judge 
Advocate-General in Bengal in 1773. Photographed by 
Mary Bent Frontispiece 

Map of Bengal facing p. xvi 

Warren Hastings, aged about 65. 

From the painting by Abbot in the possession of 
Mrs. Wansbrough facing p. 322 

) ) 

> \ 



* • 



(1 ) Abstract toast and Bay. 

(2) Bengal Abstracts. 

(3) * Bengal Dispatches. 
Bengal Letters received. 
Bengal Public Consultations. 
Bengal Revenue Consultations, 
Bengal Secret Consultations. 
Bengal Imperial Press List. 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations. 
Committee of Circuit. 
Court Minutes. 
Home Series. 
Home Miscellaneous. 
Kasimbazar Factory Records. 
Madras Records. • 
•Wilkes's Miscellaneous. * * 

Orme's MSS. > 


Additional MSS. 

The map facing is taken from Orme's MSS. Beixgal, No. 164 b. 
Its interest lies in the fact that it portrays the divisions of the 
country under the native administration, before the East India 
Company assumed the Diwani. 

The date of it can only be fixed by internal evidence, which shows 
it to have been drawn up on information less complete than the 
earliest of Rennell's printed maps, that of 1768 (India Office Map 
Records, No. B. x. 15), of which the original was brought home by 
Clive in 1767. The year 1766 will thus be the latest date for our 
map. Now Rennell was appointed Surveyor on Nov. 26, 1764 {vide 
Bengal Abstracts, No. i, p. 48), ' on account of his diligence and 
capacity in making a survey of the Great River It seems 
probable that this work was the outcome of the same journey and 
was finished some time in the year 1765, so that it would represent 
the native divisions of Bengal while still unmodified by English 
control, which obtaictd at that date only in BurdwaHj Midnapoie, 
and Chittagong, ^ 


Bengal in 1770 — ^ret, Character, Pooa^ation, Economic and Social Con- 
dition — The Village Community — Tire Zemindari — Trade and Industry 
— The Nawab's position, government, court. 

In the middle of the eighteenth century there existed in 
Bengal a society of mixed race, of imrmemorial age, and of 
highly complex stru((^re ; but the Government in Bengal, as 
in other Provinces of the Mogul Empire, was falling into decay 
with the collapse of that rule. Into this complex organism,,at 
a critical time, the foreign body of the English East India 
Company had intruded itself. It had set up an irritation which 
the native Governors of Bengal and the Directors of the Com- 
pany in England were alike impotent to allay. 

In the year 1770 natural disasters, drought, storm, and 
famine, came to enhance the distress of the country; but in the 
critical hour relief was at hand. Warren Hastings was sent 
by the East India Company to their settlement at Calcutta 
as Governor in 1772, and by unsparing labour, coupled with 
imaginative insight into native needs, he converted the pre- 
sence of the English from a bane into a s^mrce of healing and 
strength, first for Bengal itself, and then for the regt of an ever- 
widening British India. He made the economic, religious, and 
social rights of the people his first care, anc^ built up the pro- 
sperity of the state upon the welfare of tffe cultivator. To 
analyse the work he did in the first two years of his governor- 
ship is the aim of this study, for it is on the foundations laid 
in the years 1772 and 1773 that the stability of British rule in 
India mainly rests. What Bengal was before the English came 
there, and how far they had acted upon and altered its con- 
dition by 1772, must be the first inquiry, and together with 
this must be studied the forging of Hastings's character to the 
temper needed for his task. 

The Province of Bengal had by the middle of the eighfteenth 
century become practically independent of the Mogul em- 
perors. It then comprised Bengal proper and its sister terri- 

1526-9 « 



tories, Bihar and Orissa, a total area o£ 149,2^7 square miles/ 
20,000 more than that of Great Britain and Ireland.^ It 
reached from the southern border of Chittagong to the north 
of Tirhut, and from Assam 'to a variable line running from 
the neighbourhood of Palarnau to that of ,Bajasore, where it 
marched with the Maratha lands. 

Tirhut and Bihar reach to the skirts of the Himalayas, and 
on the west are the hills of Chota Nagpur; but with these 
exceptions the territory of Bengal is ^ vast alluvial plain, 
lying under tropic skies and watered the early and later 
rains of the east and west monsoons. The damp heat makes 
it one of the richest grainfields of the earth, and for centuries 
it has borne a crowded population. 

In the thronging multitudes of the Ganges valley the pre- 
ponderant element is the Drayidian stock, but this is mingled 
on the east with a Mongol strain and receives through the 
north a leaven of Aryan blood. Bengal, lying in the extreme 
south-eastern corner of continental India, is farthest removed 
from those rock-avenues of the north-west through which 
invaders have poured time after time, to overrun the original 
Kolarian and Dravidian peoples of India. Only a small 
number of the conquerors at each onset penetrated so far east, 
driving the conquered peoples before them. The dwellers in 
Bengal are thus a survival of the debris of many successive 
dominations of northern India, and this is evidenced to-day by 
the caste system. C^ste is the diversity of religion and social 
custom stereotyped to serve as a barrier between the con- 
querors and the vanquished. It is natural that where the 
waves of invasion reached high-water mark the successive 
layers of flotsam should be most numerous and caste most 
elaborate, as it is in Upper Bengal. The final flood-tide was 
the Mahomedan advance, which reaching the north-west at 
the close of the twelfth century spread into Bengal under 
feakhtyar Khilji, the deputy of Mahomed Ghori; it culminated 
in the sixteenth century in the Empire of the Great Moguls, 
and from that time Bengal was continuously under Mahome- 
dan rulers until the English acquired the supremacy. 

No sound estimate can be formed from the scattered hints 
1 Rennell's Map of Bengal. 

• 4 

BENGAL IN i77f> 3 

ipf early authorities of the proportion Mahomedans bore to 
other races in Bengal in the seventeenth century, beyond the 
broad fact that they formed the ruling class and not the mass 
of the population. Many of tlie original Dravidians of eastern 
Bengal who had not become Hinduized were converted to Ma- 
h'omed^nism between the thirtifnth and eighteenth centuries. 
As to the proportion in the Mogul's troops in 1655 we have 
Bernier's evidence : ^ ' For one Mahomedan there are hundreds 
of Gentiles ' (i. e. Hindus) ; but this do^s not, of course, apply 
to Bengal in part.^lar, and native armies were largely 
recruited at dll times from wandering mercenaries and not 
from the local population. Again, Buchanan's account^ of 
Bihar in 1807 gives the number of Mogul families at 600, and 
the Pathans at 6,000. He says, too, that by that date a large 
number of the Mahomedan people of Bihar had some admix- 
ture of Hindu blood, although the number of converts to Islam 
was less than it had been in former years.^ Here too the 
evidence is indirect and the racial problem is complicated by 
the religious, but at least we may infer from it that the mass 
of the population remained Hindu, that the Mahomedan 
minority itself included many by origin Hindus, and that the 
various branches of conquering Mahomedans still remained 
distinct from the people as a whole. If ^his is true of Bihar, 
tlie high road to Bengal, how much more is it l^Jcely to have 
been the case in Bengal itself } On the whole, it may be con- 
cluded of Bengal about 1750 that only in ^e higher ranks of 
society, the military and administrative posts, was the majority 
composed of Mahomedans, many of them of Turkish, Afghan, 
and Pathan origin. The conquering Moguls had neither dis- 
possessed the Dravidian peasantry nor obliterated their social 
and religious customs. 

Differing in much, the various subject groups had at least 
a common occupation. The masses were drawn to agricul- 
tural labour by the nature of their country. (The fertile mu3 
soil gave three harvests of various grains in the year. All 
sorts of fruits abounded ; sugar, tobacco, cotton, and mul- 
berry yielded rich returns to husbandry. The working up of 

* Bernier, 1655-61, Travels in Hindostan, p. 188. 
2 Montgomery Martin,. History of Eastern India, i. 140. 
B 2 



cotton and silk produced peasant indv.strieS' and developed' 
a trade which found its highway ready provided in the broad 
channel of the Ganges. For this great river, with its various 
mouths welcomes the shippilig and conducts it from the Bay 
of Bengal into the heart of tlie country, anc^ by its tributaries 
affords access to the whole oVnorthern India. The goods of 
Cashmere and Tibet find easy transit southwards, and from 
the dawn of history this traffic drew with it a number of 
industrial people to, settle and build aloi>'? the Ganges banks, 
and foster the trade of the rural commuA. .ies. But they were 
always a minority, and even to-day ^ the proportion of the 
agiicultural classes to all others is seventy-five per cent ) A 
rough and probably insufficient estimate gives the population 
of Bengal in 1750 as ten millions. Sir W. Hunter states it 2 
as from twenty-four to thirty millions in 1790, and if this 
estimate is correct it is probable that the population was of 
equal amount in 1750, since it would take at least twenty 
years to remedy the appalling ravages of the famine of 1770 ; 
Dow, who wrote in 1770, mentions fifteen millions : ^ to-day 
it exceeds seventy-eight millions, 'the great Hindu mass of 
this population, in itself a blend of many peoples, professed 
a faith no less composite, in which Brahmanism combined and 
dominated a confiasion of earlier nature-worships) The 
Mahomedan' Government, on the other hand, was based on the 
Koran and the traditions of the first Khalifs. But in each, 
case it_was the relig'ous code which formed the basis for 
the social economy and the civil government, and the two 
peoples required separate judicial treatment whether in civil pr 
criminal causes.* 

No polity could well have presented a more complete con- 
fusion to alien eyes than did that of Bengal to the merchants 
from England, who found themselves gradually forced, in self- 

^ * Indian Census, 1901, pp. 23 and 204. Rural population estimated 
at 95 per cent., p. 23 ; agricultural population at |, p. 204. Mr. Percy 
Roxby, who investigated the subject in 191 3, puts the proportion at 
60 per cent, directly employed in cultivation, 90 per cent, indirectly em- 
ployed in cultivation. 

2 Sir W. V^. Hunter, Annals of Rural Bengal, p. 36. 

^ Alex. Dow, History of Hindostan, p. cxxxvi. 

* Hastings in his first year of office employed N. B. Halhed to translate 
the Hindu laws, and sent home copies of them to Lord Mansfield. Vide 
p. 337; Gleig, iii. 159. 

» 1 


preservation and for the welfare of its people, to undertake 
its conduct. Ih suchr circumstances the most devoted efforts 
could not have avoided some serious mistakes, but the East 
India Company'^ servants w^re far from devoting themselves 
to the problems of government*. Their paramount interest 
was their trade, and it was ine^table that much maladminis- 
tration, injustice, and oppression should mark the early years 
of their dominion. Very few of them made any serious study 
of native customs or requirements or of the profound differ- 
ences of race, religion, and caste which underlay native sus- 
ceptibilities. .Not nmny troubled to learn Persian, Hindustani, 
or Bengali, and all who did not were at the mercy of inter- 
preters in their dealings with high or low. One of the first to 
attain to a real understanding and appreciation of the native 
character was Warren Hastings, and he recognized that the key 
to the hardest part of the problem of English predominance 
in Bengal lay in the fair treatment of the ryot or cultivator. 

The J^ijd -system. of Jiindusta^ rests on presuppositions/, 
unfamiliar to the Western mind, and has no close counterpart 
in the countries of the West ; that of Russia is perhaps of 
nearest kin to it. Property in land has not the same meaning 
for the Indian peasant as for our own. It involves rather 
a right to the produce, or some share of it, than ownership of 
the soil. It is not the land itself so mlfch as the toil which 
vivifies it and the harvest it yields that count irf India. This 
native point of view escaped the attention of the English. 
Consequently the tenure of the land»in ^engal proved the 
most baffling of all the difficulties which faced them. Added 
tt> these fundamental misconceptions were complexities of 
ten'vire to which they had no clue. The right of the original 
occupier was in most cases vitiated by economic failure or 
overlaid by a whole series of claims imposed by conquerors or 
by their agents for the collection of tribute, or arising from 
religious obligations. But on the unravelling of this tangle 
everything depended ; for the land-tenure of Bengal from the 
earliest times has formed the basis of the whole fabric of civil 
government. Warren Hastings grappled with this problem 
at the outset of his rule, and his reforms cannot be understood 
without making some preliminary study of the principles of 



^ the native land-system. Its root lies in the organization of 
the village community, and with this the'analy^is is best begun. 

The earliest and most common form of village in India 
seems to have been that set up^by the original primitive and 
Dravidian races, and is known as the * ryotwari ' type. In 
such villages the ryots have ^oarate holdin^s,'and this differ- 
entiates them from the ' joint ' villages, where the villagers- 
have joint or common rights in the land. The villages men- 
tioned in early Hindu^ literature seem to be of this ryotwari 
k.ind, and this view of its early prevalenc/^ is supported by the 
oldest customs still extant in certain mcitricts. The .Dravi- 
dians are said to ' have preserved their nationality pure and 
unmixed, and such as they were at the dawn of history, so 
they seem to be now '.^ The evidence, both ancient and 
modern, portrays^mall communities scattered within a wide 
tribal area and isolated in early times by stretches of waste 
jungle land, as would be the case in any country incompletely 
peopled. Such villages had no formal boundaries. Each 
original breaker of the soil claimed the produce of his clearing 
and might graze his beasts on the surrounding waste. This 
was held to be reserved for the use of the villagers as far as 
their watchman, standing on the edge of the arable, could 
make his voice carry ; but it was not their joint property^ 
like our English codimons : the property sense .was hardly 
developed fa'i' enough for such a conception to arise. The 
village, thus isolated, was almost forced to become a tiny 
self-contained and self-subsisting state. A headman ruled, 
usually no doubt a descendant of the first founder. He was 
called P ^l^l. a name which survives to-day in southern an?d 
western India, where the ryotwari village still exists. < His 
office was hereditary and involved both dignity and responsi- 
bility. A special grant of land was his and he took precedence 
at religious and social festivals. He must answer for the com- 
n^unity to the officers of justice and of revenue and had himself 
the right to raise taxes for the petty expenses of the village. 
He ruled with the aid of a ' mahato ' or scribe, now called a 
' patwari \ usually a more capable and literate man than his 

* Holdich, India, i. 202. 

1 \ 




superior, and in most cases not one of the villagers, but the 
nominee of the* overlord. (To be self-sufficing these villages 
needed to supplement the cultivators by artisans and handi- 
craftsmen, smiths, potters, ^nd carpenters, and a group of 
menials to do such tasks as would debase the higher castes. 
These low-born savants of the ^mmon needs were given huts 
apart from the freeholders, ana sometimes a strip of land for 
their subsistence. Their services were at the call of the com- 
munity, which paid them out of the ^harvest-pile of grain.^ 
For these village coiAmunities, even in the eighteenth century, 
were little advanced beyond the most primitive economic 
stage. They hardly understood or needed coin, but used the 
precious metals for ornament in peaceful times and buiied 
their hoards when raiders threatened. One of the great diffi- 
culties that beset English administrators was this absence or 
periodical disappearance of currency. In the more exposed 
districts the headman's house was often fortified as a refuge 
for the community against the raids of hillmen, of dacoits, or of 
Maratha spearmen. Such, so far as we can penetrate the age- 
long vista of Indian history, has been the life of the Indian 
villager from earliest times. The tenacity and longevity of 
these little village commonweals would be unaccountable, 
judged merely by their strength to resist an enemy. The 
secret of it lies first in their producing T>ower as agricultural 
groups, and secondly in the Indian's love of the Soil, a passion 
as great as or even greater than that of the Irish peasant. 
Wave after wave of conquerors passedover them, plundering, 
even temporarily devastating the village ; yet century after 
century the same families of ryots are to be found, like water- 
weeds when the boat has passed, working back to their old 
places and settling down to their accustomed functions, 
though often enough with rights diminished. In them lay 
India's vitality. If one generation was expelled and died, its 
successor attempted to return when opportunity offered. The 
peasant's claim to the particular holding of his fathers was 
secured by a right of recovery valid for one hundred years.^^ 

1 For facts concerning the ryotwari village see Baden-Pow^ell, The Indian 
Village Community^ pp. 8-19, * Elphinstone, History of India, p. 77. 


(Thus far the Indian village has been described as an inde-^ 
pendent organism, self-supporting and *^self -ruling, unaffected 
by the rise and fall of dynasties ; but this is only in part true 
to the facts. However foreign.such dynasties might be, and 
however remote their seat of empire, they yet depended for 
their very existence on this l^mble source 6i Wealth, the ryot 
and his produce. Whenever a strong government was set up 
it tightened its hold on the land revenue. Above all, when the 
Moguls became supren^e the status of the landholding villager 
was modified for good and all, though / e was not radically 
displaced. The earliest sovereigns seeiii to have made no 
specific claim to ownership of the land, whether settled or 
wa'Ste, though such a claim was involved in their receiving 
a complimentary share of the produce, but at some later point 
such claims became defined. Certainly the Moguls, like feudal 
sovereigns, claimed to be the ultimate lords of the land and 
raised an assessment or rent in every province.^ This rent 
took the form of a more or less fixed proportion of the produce 
of the land.> 

The first definitely recorded assessment of the amount due 
from each district is known as the 'Toomar Jurama It was 
drawn up by Todar Mai, Diwan to the great Akbar, and fixed 
the proportion at a quarter of the produce. In theory this 
continued to be th6'*amount leviable from the occupants of 
land till the English acquired control, but in fact the amount 
varied widely and sometimes rose as high as one-half.^ This 
burden was further ^.welled by two sets of Vahwa,bs ' or 
additional cesses, the one imposed by the provincial governor, 
the qther by the Zemindar, or district collector; and the 
repeated prohibitions inserted in ' sanads ' or contracts siiow 

^ Sir W. Hunter, Introduction to Bengal MS. Records : ' It must be 
borne in mind that the collection of revenue formed almost the sole idea of 
government among the Native Powers who erected themselves on the ruins 
of the Mogul Empire ; that it was essentially the function of government 
which was made over to the East India Company in 1765 by the Imperial 
grant for Bengal ; and that it was out of the Revenue Administration thus 
conferred upon the Company that its judicial courts, civil and criminal, and 
its police jSystem gradually developed,' 

^ Bengal MS. Records, i. 28. Holwell, Historical Events, p. 221 : * The 
established ground-rent is three Sicca Rupees per begah (about J of an 
English acre) throughout the Empire.' 

*THE RYOT 7 9 

^that they were in the habit of imposing fresh cesses on any 
pretext. ' In_,tlie aggregate,' says Sir W. Hunter, ' s_o_ much 
was taken by the State as to leave the land no selling value, 
beyond that of the crop on itt Cohere was thus little margin 
for the ryot above a bare subsistence. The Zemindars were 
adepts in squeefein'g the cultivatgpto the point of ruin and then 
letting go to prevent his desertion. In fine, under native rule 
the limit of extortion was commonly the point of exhaustion, 
and that only. Nevertheless, the peasant in some degree 
retained his positionlb relation to the land. For to make any 
revenue possible, thtTmdispensable cultivator had to be kept 
at work, and so the ryot's claims to his hereditary holding were 
allowed and continued to be recorded in written or oral form^ 
C Baden-Powell emphasises the baseless security of the peasant 
holder.^ He points out that there was never a time when the 
law forbade the lord to turn out his tenant or so to rack the 
rent that he preferred flight to the struggle to live. On the 
other hand, mere economic gravity secured the ryot, for if he 
fled and left the land untilled, the lord's only chance of revenue 
vanished with him. The peasant could commonly find a fresh 
holding or at least occupation : his labour was worth his keep. 
The only tie that bound him to stay and endure oppressive 
taxation was his love of the land ; and this was so strong that, 
even when 1?he plot had passed for years into other hands, the 
peasant would still be able to point out among tlie new divi- 
sions the fields that were the * sir ' or holding of his house. 
Such was the lowest class of society in Bengal, that of the agri- 
cultural peasant or ryot. Under the Mogul Empire the ryot's 
welfare was carefully cherished and oppression checked so 
that the ruler could count upon the support of the masses 
against rebel nobles.) 

The Great Mogul was the theoretical owner of the whole / 
land. Akbar divided it into twelve great provinces or ' Su- 
bas'. Each province was handed over to the care of two 
officers, the Nawab and the Diwan, who represented the 
Emperor respectively in his dual character, as conqueror and 
as landholder The military deputy, Nawab-Nazim or 
* Baden-Powell, Land Revenue of India, p. 137. 


Subadar, became a practically independent prince in the 
latter half of the eighteenth century. * At first these officers 
were appointed and replaced at the Emperor's good pleasure, 
x» but they gradually acquired anthereditary h6\d on their terri- 

^^^^f^ J, ^ ^^^^s. The province of Bengal was acquired by Akbar in 
^ -- m. ^ ^576, and was thenceforwai^ entrusted to*Nawabs. It was 
li, Vi-*-***- divided into circars or governments, of which there were 
^«>.^^ r thirty-four at the end of Shah Jehan's reign. Each of these 
U*Zo /^w? was subdivided into '^arganas of irregular size, * the oldest, 
^ the least, the most universally known ao^l established division 
of land throughout Hindostan',^ TheV':kolder9 of these par- 
^ ganas obtained so much independence that in 1722 Murshid 

Kuli Khan, who was both Nawab and Diwan of Bengal under 
Aurangzeb, found it necessary to reorganize the system. 
He made thirteen divisions, called chucklas, instead of the 
ancient circars, and reduced the size of the parganas, increas- 
ing the number of them to a total of 1,660. At that date the 
province paid to the Emperor a farm of forty-three lacs of 
rupees. This rent was levied only on Khas, i. e. Khalsa or 
Government land, which then constituted three-quarters of 
the whole area. The rest was jagir, i.e. land the revenues 
of which had been granted to individuals. 

The care of the finances was the special duty of the Em- 
" peror's civil deput/, the Diwan, who was, in the palmy days of 
the Empire, a separate person from the Nawab and a valuable 
check upon him.^^ If the Nawab showed a tendency to exces- 
sive display or raised too many troops, the Diwan would be 
instructed to withhold or reduce the proportion of the revenues 
assigned to him for the expenses of the Nizamut, i. e. his 
administration. On the other hand, the Diwan was dependent 
on the Nizamut for any forces which he might require to effect 
the collection of the revenues. It is obvious that of these two 
ministers the Nawab would stand the better chance of survival 
so soon as the central authority grew weak, and in fact the 
Diwani of Bengal, for a century before Plassey, was constantly 

1 Parliamentary Papers, 1812, vol. vii, p. 343 ; J. Grant's View of the 
Revenue of Bengal. 

* The best contemporary account of their relations is in Vansittart's 
Narrative, vol. i, p. iv. 


^lled by nominep of the reigning Nawab, with the result that 

the distinct line between the Nizamut and the Diwani tended 

to be lost and their functions merged. Originally Nawab and 

Diwan, each in his own deparfmeat, shared between them the 

Emperor's judicial powers. To the Nawab-Nazim, as the 

representative of force and ord#, belonged the maintenance ^/ ^ ^ 

of the peace, criminal jurisdiction, and the sole right of 

inflicting capital punishment. He delegated this power to 

officers called Faujdars; crimes were tried in local courts of 

Faujdari Adalut, wwi an appeal to a court at the capital, 

known as the* Sudd^ Faujdari. The Diwan, on the other j-^^ 

hand, being concerned with the tenure of land and with * 

finance, received the charge of civil jurisdiction, and suits ^/ ^-^^ 

arising out of property were heard in his Revenue courts. 

The Diwan's office being organized rather to facilitate the 

collecting of the land revenues than to ensure justice for 

individuals, his Khalsa, or Central Court of Revenue, was at 

once the seat of justice and the Court of Exchequer. Below 

it and with a right of appeal to the Royroyan, the head of the 

Khalsa, or to the Diwan himself, were Courts of Diwani Adalut 

under deputy Diwans for the circars, and local courts, held 

at the cutcheri of each pargana or Zemindari. Thus below the 

chief officials the work of revenue collection, and along with 

it that of justice of a rough and ready character, was in the 

hands of innumerable agents. They may be classified very , 

broadly under two headings with respecfc to their original j 

functions, as (i) actual collectors, (2) recorders or inspectors./ 

To the former belong such groups as the Zemindars, the 

Talukdars and Jagirdars, the Chowdries, Tahsildars, and 

Mutahids ; to the latter the Kanungoes, Darogoes, Muta-^ 

saddis, and Amils. 

By far the most important of these is the Zemindar, a name "^c- 
which has come to be applied loosely to all farmers of the 
revenue. From the time of Warren Hastings to that of 
Lawrence the status and powers of the Zemindar have giveYi 
rise to controversy. The position is not easily defi-ned by , 
reference to European analogies or brought under English cate- 
gories. (Sometimes Zemindars appear with the characteristics 



of landowners, sometimes their position suggests a fain^ 
analogy with feudal lords ; they act now as revenue collectors, 
again as local magistrates or chiefs of police. The Zemindars' 
position, in fact, seems to hfive9iovered between these concep- 
tions and partaken of their various attributes. Zemindars 
have been more or less indeji^ tident, accordmg to the strength 
or weakness of the superior Government) Indeed, in the 
India of the eighteenth century, precise definition of tenures 
was neither possible* nor perhaps desired. In the general 
absence of law and order vagueness / ve prospects to the 
ambitious or the dexterous which often^^proved more valuable 
than the problematical protection which rigid definition might 
afford. To ask * What was a Zemindar in lyyo}' is like 
asking * What was a manor before Domesday and the ques- 
tion is as unlikely to be answered by any single formula. The 
very attempt of English administrators to define the status of 
a Zemindar tended to produce an alteration in the position 
they held. One of the difficulties of Hastings and his succes- 
sors was this aptness of their employers or their colleagues to 
adopt too precise a definition of the Zemindar and to act upon 
it hastily. Thus Philip Francis made the profound mistake 
of considering the Zemindars as landowners with an hereditary 
right to their lands- The error gave rise to much mistaken 
legislation both at the time and in after years, for as Sir John 
Shore said, ' Every man who has been long employed in the 
management of the revenues of Bengal will, if candid, allow 
that his opinion V)n many important points has been often 
varied, and that the information of one year has been rendered 
dubious by the experience of another '.^ 

But while it would be unwise to attempt the precise defini- 
tion of the Zemindar in a sentence, certain broad facts emerge 
from the chaos of evidence. The Zemindar was first and for£.- 
rnost a collector of the revenue. The district allotted to hijn 
did not become his land, though he usually received a per- 
sonal estate within it, known as his ' havelly ' (Hawaii) and 
exempted from tribute. The conditions of tenure of the 
Zemindari were payment of an annual composition for the 
^ Parliamentary Papers, vol. vii, p. i6g. 



revenue or tribmte ; sometimes military service; and always 
the administration of justice in petty civil causes and the pre- 
servation of order. Thus the Rajah Chet Sing undertakes the 
following administrative respcJnsibilities for the Zemindari of 
Benares : 

* I will keep the highroads ilP'such repair, that travellers 
may pass and repass in the fullest confidence and security. 
There shall be no robberies and murders committed within my 
boundaries ; but (God forbid) should an^yone notwithstanding 
be robbed or plundq|ed of his property, I will produce the 
thieves, togetjier w^m the stolen property. Should I fail, 
I myself will make gllod. I will refrain from the collecting 
of any of the ahwah ^ which have been abolished or prohibited 
by the Government.' ^ 

This undertaking shows that in addition to, and as a result 
of, his revenue engagement, the Zemindar had the authority 
of a_police magistrate. To what extent this was usual will 
appear from the following criticism by Hastings of a Minute of 
his Councillors : 

* I venture to pronounce with Confidence that " by the Con- 
stitution of Bengal the Zemindar neither presided in the 
Criminal ^ Court of his District nor pronounced nor executed 
Sentence on all Offences less than Capital " [as was asserted in 
the Minute], nor on any Offences whatsoa»Yer except the Non- 
payment of the Rents, f He was answerable", it is t/ue, "for the 
Peace and good Order of the Country as far as his Jurisdiction 
extended, but only as the Subordinate Inst|;ument of a larger 
System. The Land-Servants or ancient«Militia of the Country 
were under his immediate Charge, and, being distributed 
throughout the Zemindarry, enabled the Zemindar both to 
watch over its internal Quiet and to obtain Information of 
whatever passed in any part of it, and so far the Foujdarry 
Jurisdiction is inherent in the Zemindar. In the Exercise of it 
he was subject to a Foujdar who had the Superintendence of 
a District comprehending many Zemindarries and had the 
Thanahs or inferior Stations under the Charge of Officers and 
armed Men dependent on him, besides a part of the Land- 
servants of each Zemindarry, the rest being employed to guard 
the Villages and enforce the Collections. It was the Zemindar's 

Ahwah = additional taxes. 2 Bengal Records, i. 39. 

Unquestionably he presided in the civil court. 


Duty to give constant Intelligence to the Na))ob through the^ 
Roy royan and to assist the Foujdar in the Apprehension of 
Robbers and in executing the Measures which were required of 
him for preserving the peace o^. the Country ; but this Duty 
first and immediately belon^ged to the Foujdar, who was the 
Representative of the Nazim, and "to him tl^e People looked up 
for Justice and protection ev^ a against their chiefs " [i. e. the 
Zemindars]. The Foujdar was the Check even upon the 
Zemindars, who were often, and those of Dacca District always, 
the Patrons and Abettors of dacoyts, whose Haunts and Prac- 
tices it was their especial Duty to detect. The Zemindari of 
Burdwan was allowed the exercise of aff ujdarry Jurisdiction 
by a special Sunnud from the Nazim.' vf 

The_Zemindar here appears in a dual role : in his normal 
capacity he is an agent in the Diwani hierarchy, but since he 
acts also under command of the Faujdar, the local officer for 
military and criminal affairs, he becomes thus in addition 
a subordinate of the Naib Nazim. The two branches of 
government which emanate from the person of the Emperor at 
one end through his Nazim and Diwan, meet again in the 
person of the Zemindar at the other end of the series. The 
police authority indicated above, while it was indispensable to 
empower the holder to raise the dues in his district, was liable 
to abuse. It became the crying evil of the Zemindar system, 
since it enabled him on the one hand to oppress i*nd exhaust 
the fyot, and on the other to defy his superiors or even throw 
off his dependency. 

The Zemindar held his official title by * sanad * or charter, 
and each sanad set forth the character and incidents of the 
position thus granted. But while the main features of the 
Zemindar tenure may be taken as established, two questions 
remain undetermined : In the first place, was the Zemindar 
an hereditary official } In the second place, were there any 
clearly recognized limits to the exactions he might make from 
the cultivator } 

As to the first point, Hastings in 1773 collected evidence 
from the chief native authorities.^ In the main these 

^ Bengal Secret Consiiltations, Range A. 32, pp. 181-6. 
2 House of Commons Reports, vi, Select Committee of 1782. 



/fiuthorities agreed thaj: stZemiadariwas hereditary, (the Em- 
peror's right of recovery being merely nominal, though it was 
usual to safeguarjJ it by the issue of a fresh sanad to the heir. 
Further evidence of these witnesses shows that in case of 
failure of a direcj heir male, the succession might pass to 
a brother, a widow, a daughtelfand so forth, and that the 
Zemindar was free to sell his right if unable to raise the due 
farm himself il^ In that case the buyer was obliged to procure 
a new sanad.) But it must be borne irf mind that these wit- 
nesses were men of t % period when India had fallen into con- 
fusion and when the 'governing powers found it constantly 
more difficult to enforce their authority. In the seventeenth 
century the evidence might have worn a different aspect. 
It was as if one hundred years after Charlemagne an inquiry 
should have been made into the hereditary rights and powers 
of the counts. But on the whole ^t is clear that there was a 
strong tendency to consider the Zemindari an hereditary right, 
and that the authorities held it to be improper to remove 
a Zemindar so long as he could produce the fixed farm) 

The second question to be examined is whether the Zemindar 
could appropriate any surplus revenue. ^A. surplus might 
arise in various ways. / The normal land revenue, whether 
a quarter or two-fifths or any other fraction of the produce, 
might amount to more than the fixed compositioji due to the 
Nawab ;2the value of the district might be enhanced by such 
natural causes as the happy diversion of if river channel, or 
unusual extent of flood on the paddy-fields', by irrigation, or 
immigration of new workers ; ^the Zemindar might lay new 
or enhanced cesses in addition to the land-tax and to the 
customary 'abwab'. In any case, it appears from most 
accounts that the Zemindar's payment being a farm or com- 
position, he was free to glean what he could from the ryots 
beyond the amount of it. There is evidence ^ thafe^the Zemin- 
dars claimed the maximum profits from the customs, which 
were included in the Zemindari rights, and this fact lends 
support to the view that they could also make the maximum 

1 See Forrest, Selections from Despatches of Governors-General of Bengal, 
W. Hastings, vol. i, p. 13. 



profit out of land revenue. But against this, must be set the 
contemporary evidence of an anonymous account of Bengal 
under the Mogul emperors preserved among the Hastings 
papers. It appears to have-been written about the year 1775, 
in response to some inquiry of Hastings's, and it professes to 
give a comparison of the sysAm then in vogue with that of the 
Mogul rule. Speaking of Zemindars under the Moguls it says, 
' They seldom met with severe usage on account of defi- 
ciencies provided they rendered a fair account of their col- 
lections, and, on the other hand, if th^ ^collected more than 
was specified in the writing the overplift was not regarded as 
their own right, but was deemed to belong to the Government.'^ 
The Zemindar's powers of exaction were theoretically limited 
by the forms of his sanad, and these the kanungo was 
authorized to enforce. But his practical power to do so 
varied with the strength of the imperial or provincial authori- 
ties, and in the period just before the founding of the English 
power the peasants seem to have been left very much to the 
mercy of the Zemindar class. 

5 Trade, like agriculture, was considered by the Government 
mainly as a source of revenue, and was to some extent farmed 
like the land-tribute. £r Country produce was brought into the 
town or chief village of the pargana. Here at the ' cutcheri ' 
the Zemindgr received the land-tribute, abwab, &c. y Market 
tolls, fees, and fines for Diwani jurisdiction seem also to have 
been gathered hei'e, and no clear-cut distinction was drawn 
between the Zemiiidar's takings from such official and from 
industrial and agricultural sources.^ Tolls, besides those 
taken at the place of sale, were levied at custom-houses set up 
on all the highways, by road and by river. The former are 
known as ' gunges the latter as * gauts, hauts, or chowkies 
and these were farmed like the land-tribute, the chowkeydar 
paying a fixed sum to the Zemindar, but extorting all he could 
from the passing merchants on pain of delay or confiscation of 
their wares. Trade was thus hampered at all points, and only 
the exceptional fertility of the soil could have supported so 
wasteful an economy. 

1 Vide p. 28. ^ House of Commons Reports, iv. 304. 


^ The office of Zemindar was not confined to Mahomedans, Aat^Ah 

but was filled more often than not by Hindus. It was, at all 

periods, necessary that they should be men of standing and ^A^^v^*?.:' 

acceptable to the people of their districts, consequently de- u^tt..>J^'t^'-^ 

scendants of the ancient Hindu Rajas were very commonly '^^Z 

the holders. Sbnfetimes great|^erritories represented the^^'*"^^ M'- 

former principality or kingdom of their house, sometimes this / 

had dwindled to a group of villages, but the title of Raja 

usually implies a claim to former independence and was 

insisted on by the be jL-er in preference to the merely official 

term. Zemindar. Ta-^kdars and Jagirdars too were often 

of the rank of Raja, though holding in some instances quite 

small districts, and at times subordinate to the Zemindar. 

Below the Zemindar in rank came other collectors, or publi- 
cans, as they would have been called in the Roman Empire. 
Hastings, writing from the Nawab's Court in 1759, defines 
their positions. Chowdries were^ • landholders next in rank 
to Zemindars ' ; ^ the Tahsildar was * a Na^^^^ officer col- 
lecting the Revenue from a given tract under the Zemindar, 
usually one or two parganas, worth two or three lacs of 
rupees The Hindu term * Mutahid ' means a farmer or con- 
tractor, but the term was not used in the case of large areas. 
In the English records the term ' Farmer is constantly used, 
and appears* to be generally applied to all tax-collectors, 
though occasionally it seems to imply a distinction between 
those who were recently installed, as by auction of the lands, 
and such as had a hereditary claim to l!he office. All these 
classes held their position by virtue of an annual rent to be 
raised for the State, but one group stood on a different footing. 
The Jagirdar held, his territory directly from the Mogul as :-^^r\.^.0^\ 
a_reward for signal service or a sign of special favour, and was ' 
exempt, properly speaking, from paying the ordinary assess- 
ment and from service, though in many cases he had to pay 
a quit-rent, sometimes very costly ; he did not always reside 
on the land, but took the rents as his own. His quit-rent was 

1 The word means originally the holder of a fourth part, and is 
generally used for the headman of a caste or trade ; it is a Hindu term, 
whereas Zemindar is Persian, and was a word introduced by the Mogul 

1526-9 n 



not paid to the Mogul, like the ordinary land-rents, but to the 
Nawab, and was assigned to the expenses of the Nizamut, 
The Jagirdar had the right, like the Zemindar, to bequeath 
his territory, but unlike him hu might not alienate it.^ 

It was to facilitate reassessment and the protection of rights 
by recording the facts of tei%;/e that a sec6n6 class of revenue 
officers came into being. The recorders or registrar class 

Ka*5.«.4.*^^ PXQved to be valuable as checks on the collectors. iJhe 
^ kanungo's duty was, in its origin, merely to record the facts 
concerning the tenure of all the lands>iat lay in his district, 
both as a guide to the collector in ^%termiiiing how much 

^ revenue was due to the State and as a safeguard to the ryot or 

other landholder that his *pottah' or contract should not be 
exceeded or infringed. Properly speaking they should have 
had no administrative or judicial powers, but by virtue of 
their control of all documentary evidence of the tenures 
of land they became the indispensable referees in property 
suits and all-powerful in the revenue department.^ The 

/W^vAsua^^sM* Mutasaddi was 'a Revenue officer intermediate between the 
Zemindar and the ryot and also between the Naib (i. e. deputy 
Diwan) and the Zemindar*; he was properly a mere clerk. The 
Ait^ i-C '^ Paroga was * a chief in any government department, a head of 
police, custom, or excise that is, an inspector. The mutual 
position of these two classes of revenue officials, collectors and 
recorders, varied from time to time as the former strove to 
assert their in4ependence and the latter to engross fresh 
influence. Their relations to one another, to the ryots, and to 
the land presented an impenetrable tangle of problems to the 
English statesmen who were first confronted with it, and a 
century of government has hardly served to make it clear. 

This survey has so far dealt with the rural communities 
of Bengal and their treatment by native rulers. It would 
remain incomplete without a consideration of the trading 
and industrial minority of the population. Both inland and 
external commerce of a flourishing character existed before the 

1 India Office Records, Range A. 9, Secret Committee Consultations, 
August 16, 1769. 
* Vide p. 297. 


arrival of the English in Bengal. The inland trade consisted ,1- - f ^-*^'<=^ 
of the traffic in necessairies of life, and was conducted by the ^w^-*^ • 
natives themselves. The chief commodities were grain of /• ''^cM* 
various sorts, of which rice was the most important ; salt, X ^ ^S^^-^\ 
much of which was made on the coast of Orissa by a low-caste h . 7^<f^ <• 
people called Molifngis ; fish ; large quantities of which ^ » ^^-^ ♦ 
were used either in cooking or for anointing the body ; cloths vr. ttifW^ 
of silk or cotton, which were produced in all parts of Bengal ; S^M^j^^^^^t 
beteirnut, a universal luxury; opium; ^tobacco; saltpetre; ^» (l.UtJ. t-'^-M 
lac and stick-lac. Tl|j| poverty of the masses in Bengal was ^* df.'-^-^-^ , 
extreme, often. bordcvBig on starvation, but as long as life ^ ^'^^^i^*^*-* 
could be maintained the demand for grain and oil, salt and 
betel-nut was constant, and the trade afforded a livelihood to ( e , 
a considerable section of the people. 

The produce of Bengal was by no means exhausted in 
supplying the inland trade. The Ganges valley is the granary 
of the East, and the native can live on so little that there 
remains in normal years a large surplus produce of grain, 
opmrn^ tobacco, tea, salt, &c. ; thus a flourishing export trade %t / - ' ^ "tx^:: 
grew u£ under the Moguls. Bernier, writing about 1655, says 
that Hindostan absorbed foreign currency, paying for it in her 
own goods. Mocha, Bussora, and Gombroon near Ormuz were 
the three centres of India's trade with Egypt, Arabia, Persia, 
and the Levant. Much of the gold and sil /er treasure drawn 
from the Spanish Indies passed by these channels Into Hindo* 

Stan, there to be converted from coin into ornaments and so 

— *- — - - - ^ 

lost to the currency of the world.^ It was not only with her 
own produce that India purchased this Western trade. Tenas- ,> 
serim, Siam, Pegu, Macassar, and the Maldives furnished! 
spig^S^ ambergris, ivory, and pearls, while from China and( 
Japan came the lacquer-work and porcelain that incited the 
emulation of Sevres, Dresden, and Staffordshire. 

The carrying of this oversea trade was even so early as 1650 
in the hands of Europeans, for the Hindus are not a seafaring 
people,, and to strict observers of their caste a sea- voyage is 
still a defilement. In the Middle Ages the ships that sailed 
from ports of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf for Bengal and 
* Bernier, Travels in Indostan, p. 183. 



the East were manned and owned by Arabs ; these were dis- 
placed and succeeded by Portuguese, 'by Dutch, and by Eng- 
lishmen. We were the last competitors to enter the carrying 
trade on these far seas. It was then a short step to making 
settlements along the coast and to obtaining a hold over the 
native merchants. The settlements were ^confined for a quar- 
ter of a century to ports on the west or on the Carnatic, and 
English traders only reached Bengal in 1633. 

The manufactures of Bengal, however, had long supplied 
much of the material of this trade. Thai-'' were not produced in 
. great centres of industry like our modef< ^ towns. The methods 
Cf^*^^ » rather resembled the more primitive practices of Europe in the 
. Ce7*vv*»'3<^- Middle Ages. Each village worked up the produce of its own 
fields or groves, the peasants spinning, weaving, carving, &c., 
in their own huts or compounds in the intervals of tillage or 
harvesting. The conversion of raw silk and cotton into cloths 
was the main industry of Bengal ; and the natives, especially 
those of Rajshahi and Dacca, had attained to an extraordinary 
skill in the craft, due no doubt in a measure to inherited 
aptitude, the outcome of caste restrictions. For j:aste rules 
forbade the workers passing from one occupation to another, 
and an industry which in one district stood high in repute 
might in another be forbidden as degrading. Such rules were 
still binding in iSo'}, when Buchanan-Hamilton sv.rveyed parts 
of Bengal.VlHe states, for instance, that although blacksmiths 
and potters were of good standing in Bengal, they were in 
Bihar considerecJ to- be impure castes. Carpenters were of 
low caste in both districts, while to drive the plough was so 
degrading an act that no ryot would plough his own lands, but 
hired a low-caste driver with his team. Weaving, while it was 
a staple employment of the Bengal ryot, was restricted to low- 
caste men in Bihar. Thus the peasant could not rise : men 
were bound to follow the industry of their fathers or to drop 
into a lower grade, and it followed that the practice of heredi- 
tary trades became the rule in India.^j Castes or gilds of 
artificers existed, for in Akbar*s reign theJKoLwal or chief 
officer of police in a town was charged to see that each ^ild 
had a master and a broker to arrange their sales. He was 



fiirther to assign special quarters ' to butchers, hunters of 

beasts, washers of the dead, sweepers and such stoney-hearted, ^ 

gloomy-dispositioned creatures This Kotwal was an impor- ' 

tant officer, the counterpart in the towns of the official known 

in the country districts as the Faujdar. He was responsible 

for the general order of the towr#; for raising the due tribute 

from merchants ; he had to regulate prices and might not 

allow sales to be made outside the city boundaries. But while 

he thus protected the interests of the ?uler he was also to 

safeguard the simpHc^^ of the peasant and to forbid citizens 

to act as their 'agents^' The greatest care for the welfare of 

the ryot was shown in the legislation of the earlier Moguls.^ ^ 

Yet the condition of the labouring classes in Bengal seems (f/-- w,* .- ''•V , 
to have been nearly always one of poverty, for they were (/J ^-^a^' ^ 
content to live on little, which was easily obtained. The C** 
ruling classes rather than the peasant profited by years of i^6^v. ,Q/»ii^^^ 
plenty, while in times of dearth the ryots often starved, for 
they had no resources. One of the most crying evils of India 
has long been the practice of money-lending. The peasant's 
margin of subsistence is so low and the return for labour so 
quick and plentiful in good seasons, that he is on the one hand 
easily reduced to starvation and on the other tempted to 
borrow in the hope of a quick turn of the, wheel. He mort- 
gages his imf)lements of husbandry, borrows money to buy 
seed or a loom, and is at the mercy of the money-lender. But 
it is not to the usurer's interest to press him itoo hard, lest he 
abscond. The industries of Bengal were ail conducted on 
a system of loans or advances, the shroff or money-changer ^ j - 

financing the merchants, who in turn employed delolls or go- 
mastahs to advance money, implements, or raw materials to 
the actual producers, in return for a right to the finished goods. 
The agents marked the finished cloth or the cake of salt with 
their master's seal, and the ryots were bound to work for them 
until the tale of promised goods was complete. The system 
was open to grievous abuses which could only have been 
checked by a thorough and universal organization of justice. 
This was signally lacking ; the Zemindars and Faujdars were 
1 Ain'i'Akbari, Jarrett's translation, vol. ii, pp. 43-7, 



often themselves in the grip of the shroff, while it was perhaps 
at the Nawab'o Court that his loans were most of all indis- 
pensable. For the whole community was honeycombed by 
usury. ' The native princes itiake their payments in bonds,' 
says Law, ' and it depends on the bankers what any man shall 
get for his bonds.* The grdtt financiers oi Bengal were called 
Seths. ' The house of Jaget Seth, or rather of its chiefs, who 
f JL^Aik^^Sp -fi Sire named Seth Mahtab Rai and Seth Sarup Chand, bankers 
' ^ ^ of the Mogul,' says 'Law, * are, I can say, the movers of the 

revolution ... it was this same houa^^of bankers that over- 
threw Sarfarez Khan to enthrone Af .Verdi Khan, and who 
during the reign of the latter had the management of all 
important business.' ^ 

Their importance is noted again by Ghulam Husain Khan 
in his history of Bengal.^ He says that the grandsons of Jagat 
Seth Path Chand could pay a bill of exchange at sight for 
a crore of rupees (i. e. £1,000,000 sterling). * In the native 
administration', he adds, 'this house was security for the 
renters of the revenue, and thus the collections in general 
passed through their hands.' They acquired great political 
importance, and the rivalries of native princes were frequently 
decided by the weight of the rupees which they could pour 
into the scales. , 

Other pi;ominent figures in the world of native Industry were 
At /P^^KVi^^the Armenians. From the days of Timur, who overthrew the 
independence of <the Maliks in their native Armenia, this people 
was dispersed and many of them penetrated India. There, 
by their ability and solidarity, they acquired wealth and main- 
tained a position of influence in commerce, although at the 
mercy of extortionate local officials. Their strength was 
apparently rather that of endurance and an extraordinary 
power of recuperation than an aggressive policy like that of 
the Seths or the English. To the latter they were constant 
friends, making common cause in the prosecution of trade 

1 S. C. Hill, Three Frenchmen in Bengal, p. 84. 

Law here mistakes the term Seth for a surname ; in reality it was a 
term of respect meaning ' the best ' , and applied to the foremost among 
Hindu financiers. Vide H. H. Wilson's Glossary. 

* Scott's Ferishta, p. 415- 


jnterests.^ In the very early days of the Company's settle- 
ment in Bengal, Job Charnock was aided by the Armenian 
Khojah (i. e. leader) Phanoos Khalanthar, and his nephew, the 
Khojah Sarhad, acted as intermediary for Thomas Pitt and 
his fellow deputies in 1714 at the Court of Farrukhsiyar. 

The influence* 01* foreigners oi>^he industrial life of India is 
clearly to be seen in the development of town life which they 
caused. Towns in the east of India which seem to have had 
any importance before our period derived it from artificial 
rather than economk causes. The most famous were the 
ancient capita^ls or s^^h centres of worship as Benares and 
Juggernath. The capital of Bengal, tradition says, was estab- 
lished 4, 000 years before Akbar's reign at a city called fNadiy ah, 
but it was transferred first tcf],Gaur or Lakhnauti, then in 1564 
to^Tanda, and in 1592 tot^ajmahal, called also Akbarnagar, 
after the great Emperor. In 1609 Jehangir moved the seat of 
government to the eastern port of Dacca (Jehangirnagar) on 
the Meghna River, already a centre of considerable trade, 
but a century later it was brought back to a new site even 
more important economically, not far from Rajmahal, by the 
Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan. This new capital|Murshidabad, 
was built upon the banks of the Ganges. It consisted of two 
towns, one on either bank, the royal quarter and palace being 
on the east*. A mile or so away to the southward, among 
villages of weavers, , the town of Kasimbazar grew*into a great 
trading centre, and was one of the first to y^hich the English 
adventurers were attracted. Most of the a^ncient capitals of 
Bengal proper have become insignificant or fallen into com- 
plete ruin, and the same fate has overtaken such capitals of the 
provinces as Bihar,^ Purnea, and Tirhut, while river and ocean 
ports chosen for economic reasons, such as Patna and Dacca 
inland, Cuttack and Balasore in Orissa and Chittagong on the 
coast, increased in importance with the coming of the foreign 
trader, and have survived all political changes. 

^ For treaty between E. I. Company and Armenians vide House of 
Commons Reports, vol. hi, p. 283 : * . . . the Armenian Nation shall now, and 
at all Times hereafter, have equal Share and Benefit of all Indulgences 
thi^ Company have or shall at any Time hereafter grant to any of their 
own Adventurers, or other English Merchants whatsoever.' 

a Vide Tieffenthaler, p. 415. 



^The cities of the Moguls were surrounded by mud or bric^ 
walls with forts, occasionally of stone :* the gates were closed 
at sunset and guarded by peons or foot-soldiers. The walls of 
Gaur were twelve miles in circumference and broad enough for 
a chariot to pass upon them. The houses were of mud, poor 
and dirty, and the streets ci|"i,mped and cr6oked except such 
main avenues as led from the river to the palace or temple, 
and to the bazar or open mart where all sales must be effected. 
It was the Kotwal wljo had charge of such matters, watched 
and patrolled the town at night, kept ^^egister of the houses 
and frequented roads, and united thep-'jitizen* for purposes 
defence and common welfare. He divided the city into 
quarters under the care of his subordinates, who reported to 
him daily and should also have spies at work to keep him 
informed of any evil brewing. A serai was to be provided for 
travellers, who would thus be under observation and easy to 
control; a cemetery too was ordered by Akbar to be con- 
structed on the west. The Kotwal had the regulation of 
trade. Artificers were to be grouped under a master, prices 
were fixed by the Kotwal at a reasonable level, and he must 
see that no evasions occurred through sales being effected 
beyond his purview. He was permitted to levy a cess on 
certain prescribed traffic, arms, horses, elephants, cattle, &c., 
and had to see that the lowest castes were segregated. The 
police of the* city were at his disposition and he was expected 
to co:operate witlji the Faujdar, the Zemindar, or Raja. Any 
expense incurred .by 'these rulers in their various capacities 
was considered a first charge on the proceeds of cesses, fines, 
or revenue payments, and from such sources the salaries of 
these officers would be deducted before the net receipts of the 
district were made over by the Diwan to the Nawab's treasury r> 

Over the whole of this vast community of Bengal, rural, 
industrial, and mercantile, the Nawab was by the year 1750 
the only effectual ruler. It is true that the Mogul continued 
to grant sanads, but his authority was merely traditional and 
nominal at that date, though it was freely used as a screen 
under which all parties found it convenient to hide their 
advancing pretensions ; this was more particularly true of the 



rival European settlers. But while the Mogul retained the 
right of making grants of territory or official appointments to 
the provinces, all other powers over Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa ^^^^l^' 
were vested in the Nawab : (he could conclude treaties, make i"-^^^*-** * 
war or peace, issue coinage, and levy taxes. His revenue was 
mainly derived ir(hn the farm or^iwani of the province, which 
included the taxes from the land and the dues from trade. He 
only remitted a fixed sum to the Emperor as tribute, retaining 
the rest as a provision for the expenses of his government and 
the upkeep of his o\to establishment. Under Akbar, Bengal 
contributed nearly fiSeen crores of rupees, or one-sixth of the 
revenue of the Empire, but a century later at the death of 
Aurangzeb the Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan was only remitting 
one crore, fifty-two lacs. Yet he is said to have been in special 
favour at Delhi because he sent more than any of his prede- 
cessors. In 1750 Ali Vardi Khan paid a revenue of only forty 
lacs, with a similar sum as peshkash (i. e. honorarium), and 
by 1765 Shah Alam was glad to accept twenty-six lacs 
from Mir Jafar with the East India Company as guarantor. 
That much of the difference between these sums went into the 
coffers of the Nawabs may be gathered from contemporary 
writers. Ali Vardi is said to have collected from the Zemin- 
dars * a considerable nuzziranah ' (i. e. present), and exacted 
from them, in the name of the Emperor, *a peshkash amount- 
ing to twice the sum that he actually remitted to i^elhi on that 
account, and Charles Stewart says of him, ' It does not appear 
that he actually remitted any part of the revenue to Dehly '.^ 
On the other hand, the expenses of government were reduced 
to a minimum, for every officer and agent was expected to 
make his office pay its own upkeep. The Royroyan, the 
Faujdar, and the Zemindar looked to the proceeds of fines in 
the courts or cesses on the inhabitants of their districts to 
provide their own salary and that of their assistants, the pay 
of police, hircarrahs, or peons. 

The Nawab's army seems to have consisted of two distinct 
parts. His Nazim levied a compact body of household or 
royal troops, and this was supplemented in time of war by the 
* Gladwin, Narrative of Transactions in Bengal, p. 175. 



contingents of the Zemindars, Jagirdars, &c. For the most 
part both the size and efficiency of the mihtary force depended 
on the ability of the particular Nawab to control his Rajas, 
Jagirdars, and Zemindars. Thdir contingents were probably 
composed for the most part of Hindus, though no Bengalis 
took arms, but the Nawab's ^.wn troops ha6 ar larger element 
of Mogul or Mahomedan men and were mostly mercenaries, 
including Persians, Pathans, Afghans, adventurers of all kinds. 
It was this mercenary character of the troops all over India 
that made the English conquest compai/ tively easy. As Sir 
Alfred Lyall has pointed out, they car#/little or nothing for 
their leaders, were ready to change sides on the least excuse, 
and would tolerate little discipline. Ferishta gives an account 
of Kasim's troops commanded by an Armenian called Gregory 
or Goorgeen Khan : 

' This man was universally hated by the troops for his 

severity and pride. He had introduced the English discipline, 

and wanted like them to keep up the same order and respect 

in time of distress as of good fortune, never considering that 

they possess qualities peculiar to themselves, which enable 

them to maintain such order over their servants at all times. 

He had the presumption to flatter himself that an Armenian, 

always used to trade, could oblige strangers to submit to 

a discipline they had never been accustomed to.' ^ 

In Hoey's, Memoirs of Faizahad there is an account of the 
army of Oudh at a time when the power of that province was 
considerable and might be held to be equivalent to that of 
Bengal in normal' times. He names nine chief officers, of 
whom ' none had less than i,ooo or 500 horsemen ; besides 
these there were eunuchs and their novices, private slaves *, 
a Khan commanding two divisions, i. e. ' 14,000 regulars who 
wore red coats *. Other contingents are : 1,000 irregular 
lancers and one line regiment of infantry ; 500 horse and one 
regiment of infantry ; two levies of 500 horse and four infantry 
regiments ; three bodies of 500 irregulars, both horse and 
foot ; and he adds, ' the artillery passes reckoning and gives 
the total as 80,000 regulars and 40,000 irregulars.^ 

* Scott's Ferishta, p. 426. 

• Hoey, Memoirs of Faizabad, p. 7. 



^ The Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Bengal was the 
NaihuNazim. He was appointed by the Nawab and owed 
direct allegiance to no other ; but no doubt use was made 
of the Mogul's overlordship when a pretext was desired for 
resisting the Nawab's will. By virtue of the military resources 
at his command, \he Nazim ha^all coercive authority to deal 
with crime. He presided in the highest criminal court at the 
capital, the Sudder Faujdari, or Court of Criminal Appeal, 
and his subordinates, the Faujdars, act,ed as chiefs of police in 
each district or chi%kla, with Thanadars or Serjeants under 
them in the pargai^. A Court of Faujdari Adalut was set 
up in each district, with a right of appeal to the Sudder at 
Murshidabad, and originally the Faujdar presided in it and 
was responsible for the order and security of the pargana. In 
effecting this he w^as supported by the Zemindar, Jagirdar, 
or Talukdar, much as the Justice of the Peace reinforces the 
authority of the chief constable, and each officer might be 
utilized as a check upon the other. There was thus in theory, 
by the original Mogul plan, a double series of courts and 
officers, the civil under the Diwans, the criminal under the^ 
Faujdars. In both it was necessary to allow Hindu as well) 
as Mahomedan law : Brahmins declared the practice of the) 
former in disputed cases, while the Mufti expounded the latter,? 
and the Kazi gave sentence. 

The seat of government was at Murshidabad affairs were C^f^-v^^ 
transacted at the royal palace, the Chehel^etoon (Hall of One ^ 
Hundred Pillars), the adjacent Diwan Khaneh (Hall of Audi- ^ 
ence), and the Khalsa. The revenue collections were begun 
each year upon an auspicious day, known as the Pooniah. 
This was selected originally by Murshid Kuli Khan in the 
beginning of the month * Baisakh ' (late April and early May), 
and was the occasion of a ceremonial court or durbar, when 
all great officials had to attend. Such durbars were held 
periodically : the Nawab presided from the ' masnad ' or 
state cushion to give audience to ambassadors, petitioners, or 
'wakils' (delegates), to grant * sanads * or receive tribute: 
he would be surrounded by Mahomedan princes, Hindu 
Rajas of. note, his Nazim, Diwan, and Royroyan, with shroffs. 


4 I 


scribes, and kazis in attendance. His court swarmed with , 
pensioners of various ranks, in addition to the officers, military, 
religious, and civil, who thronged it, and these pensioners 
absorbed a large proportion of the revenue. 

The position of the English venturers in this native society 
was from the outset an ano|5\alous one, dVi 'the one hand 
privileged, on the other insecure. 

Anonymous Account of Bengal 

Warren Hastings's MSS., British Museum, Add, MS. 29207. 

In the government of the Nabobs, the lands were for the 
most part let out to Zemindars ; either immediately by the 
Nabobs themselves or else by Muttahuds to whom the charge 
of large districts was committed, and the Zemindars either 
kept them in their own hands or let them out again to under- 
farmers as was most agreeable to themselves. The writing 
executed by the Muttahuds was for a fixed sum, yet it was not 
understood to be an absolute engagement. They seldom met 
with severe usage on account of deficiencies provided they 
rendered a fair account of their collections, and on the other 
hand if they collected more than was specified in the writing, 
the overplus was not regarded as their own right, but was 
deemed to belong to Government. If either the Muttahuds 
or Zemindars were backward in the payment of their rents the 
customary methods of enforcing them were by placing peons, 
hircarrahs, chubdars, &c., upon their vackeels or upon them- 
selves, who kept them under restriction and took from them 
very heavy daily fees till the Government's demand was 
satisfied ; by attaching and, if necessary, confiscating their 
property, wherever it could be found ; by imprisoning and 
flogging either the vackeels or the principals (sometimes 
though very rarely so as to cause their death) ; by depriving 
the Zemindars of the management of the lands, giving them 
a small allowance and taking the lands under the immediate 
charge of the Government ; and, lastly, by depriving them 
totally of their Zemindaris, and giving them to other persons 
on their paying the deficiencies which had arisen. The 
Zemindars and Muttahuds exercised, the same methods of 

anoWmous account of bengal 29 

enforcing the collections from the petty renters and reiats by 
placing peons, &c., over them, confining them, seizing their 
effects, and flogging them. 

The system now^ pursued in the management of the revenues 
is to farm the lands either to the Zemindars themselves or to 
other persons for a specified sum, the risk and profit and loss 
to be theirs. In the latter case^he Zemindars receive a fixed 
allowance in ready money and cannot be deprived of their 
Zemindaris for any deficiencies which may happen. The 
same methods are used for enforcing the collections as formerly, 
but in a much more moderate degree. The expense occasioned 
to renters by peons, fcc., placed upon them is not a quarter of 
what it used to be. '^f^'logging is seldom practised and never 
with much severity. I do not remember more than two 
instances the whole time I have been concerned in the revenue 
business. The renters, although bound by absolute engage* 
ments, have generally been indulged with deductions, when 
Government has been convinced that they are real sufferers. 
The renters have the power of finally settling in their districts 
such disputes as do not relate to the value of more than ten 
rupees. They may place peons, &c., in moderation on their 
under-renters and reiats, they may confine them for balances 
and (except the cattle, seed, and implements requisite for 
cultivation) may attach their effects, but they cannot inflict 
any corporal punishment upon them. 

* Probably 1775. 


The first English Settlements — ^The Zemindari of Calcutta — The East India 
Company's factories, government^rces, servants. • The system of trade 
— the Dustuk — the Private Trade abuses. Life of Hastings as a junior 
servant, 1750-7. 

The East India Corppany's ships Falcon and Hopewell had 
in 1630 and 1633 visited ports in neighbourhood of 
Vizagapatam and ' laid', as they report|^J, *a good beginning 
to a future hopeful trade'. But the first English traders to 
settle in the eastern provinces of the Mogul Empire reached 
Orissa in the year 1633. 
f Ralph Cartwright was one of half a dozen venturers who 
chartered a native junk to make their way along hundreds of 
miles of inhospitable coast to the north-east of Masulipatam 
until they reached Harispur. Here they found themselves in 
the dominion of a Mogul officer, the Nawab of Orissa, who 
permitted them to settle at Balasore and higher up the river 
Mahanadi at Hariharapur, near Cuttack, To this point all 
the trade of Orissa drew ; it was therefore an excellent situa- 
tion for the English. The Nawab granted them complete 
freedom and exemption from all government dues,* and finally 
the right of *6oinage.^ 

By 165 1 the English had pushed on to the Ganges itself, and 
thanks to the influence of an Englishman, Dr. Boughton, at 
the Court of Shuja Sultan, the Nawab of Bengal, a factory was 
established at Hugh under a Mr. Bridgeman. Here they 
received the same privileges of freedom from all customs or 
dues, and soon built other factories at Patna in Bahar, at 
Kasimbazar, and at the old native capital of Rajmahal. 
Before the death of the Emperor Aurangzeb {1707) troubles 
occurred with the new Nawabs of Bengal, and the English 
realized that they could no longer rely securely on the country 
powers for protection. As early as 1658 they had been 

1 W. Foster , English Factories in India, i6jo-i6j4, pp. xxii and xxx; 
C. R. "Wilson's Early Annals 0/ the English in Bengal, vol. i, pp. 1-17. 




^compelled, on the accession of Aurangzeb, to pay a farm 
or tribute of 3,000 rupees for their privileges, and they 
never recovered the complete freedom enjoyed before, for in 
1714 they were still paying this sum.^ In 1690 Job Charnock, 
the leader of the English merchants, encouraged by the friend- 
ship of the Arihefiians and the^eths, the chief trading com- 
munities among the natives, decided, rather than abandon 
the river, to choose a new site and stand on the defen- 
sive. He chose the village of Didi Kalkateh (Calcutta) as 
a good strategic pos|yon, and built a fort on a corner of land 
formed by the junct/^n of a small tributary with the Hugli. 

In 1698 the new settlement secured the Zemindari of Cal- 
cutta, Sutaluti, and Govindpur, which included 383 villages.^ 
The grant was made by the Nawab, but contested by the 
former holders, who, however, finally relinquished their claim 
on receipt of 1,300 rupees from the Company In virtue of 
this territory the East India Company assumed the guise and 
performed the service, for the first time, of subjects of the 
Mogul Empire, ranking as subordinates of the Diwani. In 
1757 they acquired a second Zemindari, the twenty-four 
parganas reaching from Calcutta southward to Culpee, held by 
a grant from the new Nawab, Mir Jafar, confirmed by the 
Emperor Shah Alam. In this particular of holding an official 
capacity the Bengal Presidency differed from those of Bombay 

* Wilson's Early Annals of Bengal, vol. ii, p. 276. 

2 Extract from Old Fort William, vol. i, p. 39, Chuttanutta (i. e. Sutaluti) 
Consultations, October 31, 1698: 

' The Prince [i. e. the Nawab] having given us the three towns adjacent 
to our settlement, viz. Deculcutta, Chuttanuttee, and Govindpore, or more 
properly may be said the Jimmidarship of the said towns paying the same 
rent to the King [i. e. the Mogul] as the Jimmidars successively have done, 
. . . upon paying to the Jimidar {sic) 1,000 rupees for the same, it was agreed 
that the money should be paid being the best money that ever was spent 
for so great a priviledge but the Jimmidar making a great noise being 
unwilling to part with their country threatening to complain to the King 
of the injustice of the Prince in giving away their country which they had 
so long in possession.' 

3 Extract from the Deed of purchase (British Museum Add. MS. 
24039, No. 39) : ' Didi Kalkatah and Sutaluti within the jurisdiction of 
pargana Amirabad and village Gobindpur ... to the English Company 
. . . bounded by the accustomed notorious and usual boundaries the same 
being owned and possessed by us ... we have sold ... in exchange for 
1300 rupees.' December 30, 1699. 



and Madras. By this more intimate connexion with the 
native regime it was particularly suited to become the leading 
force in our intercourse with the Mogul Empire and gradually 
to assume the management of other than trading interests ; 
its trade, too, was liable to other contingencies than theirs. 
The length of inhospitablepicoast that stretched between 
Madras and Calcutta exposed the ships from Bengal to special 
dangers from the monsoons. The most favourable seasons for 
the passage were spring and autumn, and thus the arrival of 
ships was intermittent and their depao' ire had often to be 
hastened. These conditions made it nliessary to purvey the 
cargoes for the London market before the arrival of the ships 
and to hold them in readiness in warehouses at the ports. 
Such were the Company's ' factories'. The difficulty of pro- 
curing the goods, except in special seasons and districts, early 
necessitated the founding of additional subordinate factories 
inland or some distance up the rivers to act as feeders to the 
export warehouses. All these settlements acquired certain 
rights, though none but Calcutta was a Zemindari.r They were 
exempt from the ordinary native Government jurisdiction ; 
native officers had no right to intrude within their boundaries, 
and they were permitted to garrison and even to fortify them- 
selves. The inhabitants were not liable to be summoned 
before the native Courts of the Faujdar or Diwan, but com- 
plaints against them had to be preferred before their own 
chiefs at Calcutta.,, This was their head-quarters and the seat 
of their President and Governor. It was in 1715 that the 
province was erected into a Presidency on an equality with 
Madras and Bombay, and ten years later a Court of Justice was 
created, known as the Mayor's Court, to administer English 
justice over the community. The President governed with 
the aid of a Council of sixteen, and they had complete au- 
thority over all East India Company servants on the Bengal 
establishment, as well as other English inhabitants, who might 
only settle there with the permission of the Company. These 
were known as free merchants and received a licence from the 
Company for private trade : by degrees they acquired greater 
independence, and in the confusion that followed the English 



victory at Plassey they even defied the power of the English 
courts in Bengal to restrain their arbitrary conduct. In con- 
sequence of the Charter erecting his court the Mayor of Cal- 
cutta was the supreme judge over the entire community in all 
parts of Bengal, to decide all disputes between whites. The 
President and Cotincil were responsible for the behaviour of 
whites towards the natives, and to see that complaints made 
in the native courts were duly answered. The district 
factories had an organization modelled, on that of Calcutta, 
the chief of each pbike governing the local community with 
the aid of a council four or five members. The extreme 
penalty for misdeeds was expulsion from the Company's 
service, and this final sentence could only be pronounced by 
the Calcutta Government, subject to the sanction of the Court 
of Directors in London.) 

The military power of the Bengal establishment before 1757 
was confined to a small defensive force. ' By charter the Com- 
pany had the power to enlist and even to ' press ' men for 
their military service, and they employed no King's troops. 
Their forces were divided into Regulars, enlisted, equipped, 
and paid by the Company ; Militia, i. e. volunteers, European, 
Armenian, &c., officered by the civil servants ; and a corps of 
Cadets, young gentlemen from England, awaiting the com- 
mission of E»sign.) 

In the years 1754 and 1755 there were mustered at Calcutta 
six companies of Regulars. One contained the following 
complement : 

* At Calcutta : 

5 Officers. 

10 Non-commissioned officers. 
78 Centinals [i.e. privates], 

7 Centinals on lower pay. 

I Drum Major. 

I Drummer. 
15 Recruits. 

On command [i.e. at the country factories] : 

(a) I Officer. 
I Serjeant. 
7 Centinals. 


ENGLISH settlements) 

(b) I Officer. 

I Serjeant. * 

25 Centinals. 

I Drummer. 

Total of company : 154 officers and men.' ^ 

The six companies would t^]^s represent a^foi ce of about 950 
to 1,000 men. These were for the most part Europeans, 
though a few sepoys are noted in one of the companies ; one 
company was composed of artillery. In the year 1756 the 
numbers may have been rather less, as^hey consisted of four 
companies of European infantry and orf! of artillery, as well as 
some hundreds of native soldiers. 

The total numbers of the European community at this time 
has been approximately ascertained by careful collation of 
various records ; ^ 700 may be taken as a moderate estimate 
of the civilians and a similar number for the troops, volunteers, 
&c., giving a rough total of 1,400 or 1,500 for the entire Euro- 
pean community scattered up and down the country in that 
critical year. The Company's indentured servants formed 
only a minority of the civilian society. At Calcutta lists of 
them were drawn up annually for dispatch to England, and 
from these we find the totals in August 1750 to be sixty per- 
sons ; in October 1754 to be seventy-four ; and in September 
1756 to be seventy-six.^ c 

The salaries of the Civil Servants enumerated in 1750 are as 
follows : 

President and Governor, Mr. Dawson . . . 200 
Eleven persons, chiefs, warehouse-keepers, accoun- 
tants, &c., each ...... 40 

2 Chaplains, each ....... 50 

8 Senior servants, each ...... 30 

20 Junior servants, each . . . . -15 

16 Junior servants, each . . . . . 5 ' 

These sums appear ludicrously inadequate to maintain 

^ Vide (a) Bengal Public Consultations, January 27, 1754 ; (b) Innes 
Bengal European Regiment, p. 2, &c. ; (c) Buckle's Bengal Artillery, 
PP- 5. I (^) Broome's Bengal Army, p, xliv. 

2 S. C. Hill, List of Europeans in Siege of Calcutta, 1756, pp. 1-99. 

3 India Office Records : Bengal Civil Servants, i, 1706-60, No. 57. 


Europeans. In fact, they were an insignificant proportion of 
* the total emoluments of a Company's servant. The Com- 
pany's account with Mr. Dawson, for instance, shows him to 
have received in this year : 

' From Salary, ^ . . . . £200, i.e. Rs. i,6oo 
„ Gratuity . . # . . . 800 

„ Batta 300 

Subsistence allowance . . . 12,697.8 - 
Servants' wages . . • , • • 6,009.12 ' 

This amounts to 21,407.4, over £2,500. Subordinate 
servants received si'Siilar allowances and batta, but no gra- 
tuity.^ It was a general complaint that the salaries were too 
low to enable any but the chief servants to live on their pay, 
and the Directors were well aware that the rest supplemented 
it by various means, and especially by engaging in the private 
trade. It was the opportunity for gain afforded by theirl 
position in the country rather than the pay of the Service! 
itself which attracted men to India. 
The extent to which the English community had penetrated 

* Warren Hastings's receipts from the Company in 175 1 were as follows : 

' Mr. Warren Hastings ]Writer in Secretary's Office] 
Receives out of the Cash as Salary Rs. 
p. annum is . . . . 40 , 
E«,tta 12^ p, cent. . . 5 

Receives from the Buxey monthly 

Diet Money, 20 . . . .240 
Washerman, 6 . . . . 4.8 



Rs. 289.8 

In 1753. [Assistant at Kasimbazar]: 
Mr. Warren Hastings receives Batta and Rs. 
p.c. out of the Cash as Salary £^ p.a, is 40 

Batta 4^ p. c. . , . . 1.12.9 

Receives of the Buxey monthly Diet 

Money, 30 . . . . . 360 
Candles, 4.2.6 . . . . 49.14 

41. 12.9 


Batta 36. 2.0 

Rs. 487.12.9 

D 2 

36 ENCjLISH settlements/ 

Bengal in the years preceding 1757 can be only broadly ascer- 
tained. There were the great ' Subordinates ' or up-country 
factories of Kasimbazar, Dacca, Luckipore, Patna, Bihar, 
Malda, Rajmahal, Hugli, and Balasore. The country from 
which each of these drew its supplies of goods was termed its 
district, and after 1765 we fi|f)d six districts efiumerated, but 
until then there was no formal organization and the term dis- 
trict is used merely as a translation of the native ' circar ' or 
' chuckla ' for a divisi9n of the country. 

Of the above-named subordinates Daf ca and Kasimbazar 
were the most important. Pacca^ as tj^; ancient capital and 
the centre of eastern Bengal, had a certain independence and 
isolation from the rest. The climatic conditions favoured the 
production of specially fine fabrics, and the office of chief was 
always given to highly experienced men, as was that of 
Kasimbaz^r.^ This was the commercial suburb of Murshid- 
abad, and political and diplomatic sagacity as well as good 
business faculties were required in its chief if he was to suc- 
ceed in maintaining good relations with the Court. Patna 
was the most remote of the Ganges factories, being beyond 
the boundaries of Bengal proper and subject to the influ- 
ence of events in Oudh and Bihar. A factory, early estab- 
lished there, was withdrawn for a time, but re-established in 
1755. The special value of the district lay in its stores of salt- 
p^etrCj an important article of the export trade. Luckipore was 
a centre of the tr^ade of eastern Bengal ; it was situated on 
the mouth of the Meghna River. Each of these subordinate 
factories had offshoots, called ' aurungs ', in charge of a clerk 
or 'writer'. These were the places of manufacture of the 
^ilk and cotton cloths, &c. The term is derived from the 
Persian ' aurang and meant merely the village or place 
Jwhere the weaver worked, but it came to be used for the Com- 
pany's ' godown ' or warehouse and office for the purchase of 
goods. (The duty of a servant in charge of an aurung was to 
estimate the producing power of the neighbourhood, and 
advise his chief of the prospects there ; to advance money to 

^ For defences of Kasimbazar, vide Indian Record Series: Bengal, 
vol. iii, p. 329, 

' 1 


.workmen through the agency of * gomastahs ' or native 
bailiffs ; to collect the goods and forward them to the nearest 
factory. There they were sorted and priced according to 
their fineness or quality, and packed in bales for dispatch to 
the port.) The servants at a factory consisted of a chief,^ 
a warehouse-keeper, an accour#B,nt or secretary, and several 
writers : one man might hold two or three offices together, 
being-COuncillor, writer, and storekeeper, or having charge of an 
ajmmg. (Similarly it was possible for members of the Calcutta 
Council to be occupied with other duties, and even to hold the 
chiefship at a distaifl factory. This practice led to grave 
abuses, for the work at the Council Board was neither attrac- 
tive nor well paid in comparison with the scope afforded by 
a district chiefship, and it was consequently neglected by the 
senior servants, who alone had the experience of affairs that it 
required. Raw juniors replaced them at the Board with results 
disastrous to the policy and the well-being of the Presidency^ 
The trade which formed the raison d^Stre of this com- 
munity was an export trade, concerned with the exchange of ^ 
European for Bengal commodities. From England cani^ 
/ w,oollens^vbroadcloth3velvets/4:arpets, "hardware, metals,' guns, 
^furniture, and/ other manufactures to be sold at 'outcry' in 
Calcutta. The return cargoes consisted gf the^ilk and cotton XyL^A 
cloths and* rnuslins, embroideries, shawls of Bengal and 
northern India, saltpetre from Patna, pepper and other 
spices, gums and resins, porcelain and teaJrom China, ivory 
and precious stones. In addition to the western trade there 
was an active traffic eastwards, carrying Indian opium, betel- 
nut, and grain to the Straits and islands, to China and Japan, 
The provision of exports for Europe was known technically as 
* the investment ', since it involved large advances of money 
to the purchasing and contracting agents. No universal -^y^-^^^'f-^---*^ • 
method of purveyance had been adopted by 1757 in all three 'i) -^^^-^^^^^ 
Presidencies. Tlie Court of Directors were divided as to the ^^V*^^^^^ 
merits_jQf.Jtwo_ rival systems which had been practised at "^"^^^^i^^^^^^^}? 
different times and places. These were the so-called Gomas- {,2>)i^iiJUiL , 
tah system and that of the * Dadni ' merchants. Both these 
terms are used for middlemen, and it is not easy at every point 


y^^/ ' to distinguish between them. The main distinction appears ^ 

^^^-dZ. to have been that the gomastahwas financed by theCompany — 
acte(i as their accredited agent and received a salary ; while 

. r / the dadni merchant was an independent native trader, dealing 
on his own account and taking all risks himself, merely selling 
the finished goods to the Company. A thirci term, ' DeloU 
seems to be applied indifferently to either class. The neces- 
sity for their employment arose partly from the English ignor- 
ance of the language, partly from the extreme poverty of the 
producing classes. The ryot was a we^^r or winder rather 
than a husbandman, according to the cP.1ste in which he was, 

v^^cl^ born and the natural products of his district ; but so narrow 
was the common margin of subsistence that he could rarely 
afford to purchase the raw materials or the implements of his 
craft except by borrowing. Here the gomastah or the dadni 
merchant intervened, supplying either goods or money in 
return for an agreement by which the cloths were pledged to 
him or to his employers on their completion. The word * dadni ^ 
means ' advance *, and the term was applied to any merchant 
who made such advances out of his own resources, whether he 
were a native or European. The gomastah system was the 
one most commonly practised in Bengal in the early days. 
Usually a native gornastah was employed. But there were 
objections to them. The gomastahs constantly abused their 
position and the authority of the Company to oppress the 
weavers and to sperulate on their own account, even disposing 
of the Company's goods to other traders. They forced con- 
tracts upon the ryot, will he, nill he ; for when a piece of cloth 
was finished, if not before, the price had often been consumed 
in subsisting the weaver and his family, and he had no resource 
but to enter into a fresh agreement on the contractor's own 
terms. A constant device for raising these was to depreciate 
the finished cloth. The stuffs were made to ' musters ' or 
patterns of specified quality, and if the standard was not 
reached in a given piece the gomastah lowered the price 
correspondingly. But the judge of quality was the buyer's 
agent, the * jachandar ' or valuer. He and the gomastah 
combined to settle the price when the cloth was brought to the 




Company's storehouse. Often the price was fixed at fifteen 
per cent, and sometimes as much as forty per cent, below 
what it would have been in the open market, and so these 
officials reduced the weaver to practical slavery at sweated 
work.i If the native tried to sell the cloth, already con- 
tracted for, to others who offere^him a fairer price, the Com- 
pany's authority was employed, peons w^ere set over him to 
watch the progress of the work and prevent such a sale, and 
the gomastah would even cut the piece out of the loom, when it 
approached complet^, and carry it off to the ' khattah ' or 
warehouse. Such hiy|-handed treatment of the weavers was 
one objection to the gomastah method, though it told super- 
ficially at least in the Company's favour, by providing cloths 
below market price. A second objection, and one which 
appealed more directly to the Company's pockets, was the 
gomastah's readiness to cheat his employers. He diverted the 
goods into other hands on the plea that they were not of proper 
quality for the Company's investment, or that the weaver had 
fallen into arrears and failed to supply the full tale of his 
contract, and his accounts of the money advanced through 
him were no clearer than that of the goods rendered. Yet the 
objections to the dadni system were as great or greater. This 
method was in vogue in Bengal in the years immediately 
before 1770 ] its effect seemed to be to eniiance the price of the 
cloths, and if the dadni merchants were less apt to' oppress the 
ryots, the Company could not intervene to punish those who 
did. This method was introduced by Hastings at Madras 
with good effects in 1768, but his employers preferred a return 
to the gomastah system in Bengal. 

Whether furnished by the one system or the other, the 
investment goods were first collected at an aurung. There 
the servant in charge examined them and forwarded them to 
the main factory of his district with an account of the cost 
prices. At the factory they were classified and priced for the 
home market and then dispatched under cover of a * dustuk ' 
to the port warehouse. This ' dustuk ' was a frank or pass 
exempting the Company's wares from payment of any tolls 
G. W. Forrest, Warren Hastings' Administration, p. 15, note. 



or customs to the native Government or its agents. The early 
settlements had been granted complete freedom of trade for 
a^ quarter of a century, and had then been forced to pay a 
tribute of 3,000 rupees. return they were grantedjthe 
dustuk to cover all their own goods, whether imported or 
purchased in the country for^port. The firs'c s an act record- 
ing this privilege is that of Aurangzeb in 1667.^ It was 
renewed by his successors, notably Farrukhsiyar in 1714 and 
Siraj-ud-Daula in 17^6: Mir Jafar also sanctioned it. It 
became a source of acute contentions whi/Ji can only be under- 
stood through an analysis of the variflas branches of trade 
in India. 

Besides the Company's public import and export traffic 
between India and Europe, known as the investment, there 
^^^^'was the private trade. The salaries of the Company's ser- 
vants, not being adequate to their support, were supplemented 
T'^^^ by the permission to trade on their own account. But this 
r.*V <!r.9t, private trade was confined to a traffic in goods produced and 
^T^L consumed within the Company's Charter sphere, i.e. from the 
■ . Ay^/Csipe of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan ; no private 
^ ^rJ^-^^^^^ to Europe was allowed lest it should diminish the value 
of the Company's monopoly. The servants exported Indian 
commodities on their own account to eastern ports : it was 
mainly the chance 6f making fortunes in this trade which 
attracted men to the service. They were allowed to use the 
Company's dustuk to shield their goods from paying duty in 
their transit down the Indian river-ways, the franks being 
furnished on their application by the President. The free 
merchants seem to have had the same privileges, but they 
were not allowed to settle inland, only in the ports. By 1775 
the native traders had begun to imitate the dustuks or to 
obtain them by purchase from English individuals, and it was 
necessary for the authorities at Calcutta to issue regulations 
forbidding these practices. The Zemindars and other agents 
of the native Government complained that the innumerable 
dustuks reduced their just dues so heavily that they were 
unable to raise the land revenues for which they had agreed ; 
the Nawab demanded from the President redress of these 
Aitcheson, Treaties, Engagements and Sunnuds, vol. vi, p, 222. 



grievances. An acute instance of such quarrels arose between :5e^>t^wwCf^ 
the English factory at Kasimbazar and a native officer, named 
Huckem Beg, in 1755. This man appears to have held a lease -^^^^^^/j. 
of the local custom-houses or * chowkies ' from the Nawab, and Ji^S^c 
threatened to put a stop to the factory's operations unless the 
dues which he clcfimed on the |^ares brought to them were 
paid. In January 1756 the Company, while continuing to 
deny his right, yielded so far as to pay him a sum of Rs. 12,000 
to secure their future freedom. To ^pieet possible future 
claims they ordered ^eir official registrar to keep a record of 
the dustuks issued to t'ery servant ; these were to be inspected 
every six months. The disputes seem, however, to have con- 
tinued, for Mr. Holwell cites, as one of the articles contained 
in Siraj-ud-Daula's demands in camp at Kasimbazar in June, 
1756, * That we should not misuse the liberty of our dustuk 
by covering the trade of the native merchants. And that we 
should refund and make good whatever sum it should be 
proved the king had been defrauded of in his revenues and 
duties by this practice.' This abuse undoubtedly contri- 
buted to provoke Siraj-ud-Daula to the ensuing attack on 
Calcutta, and Huckem Beg's actions may be traced through- 
out the spring, inflaming the mind of his master on one 
pretext after another,^ until the Nawab's jealousy culminated 
in his capture of Calcutta and the destruction of the English 
prisoners in the Black Hole. 

Another abuse, the intervention of the, English in the 
inland trade, only arose after the power had passed into 
English hands. For Europeans to partake in this trade was 
illicit, and it was condemned by the Directors as soon as 
they became aware of the practice, but it was not easily 
rooted out.^ 

The slight records of the early years of Warren Hastings 
in India excellently illustrate the condition of the English -^^ 
merchant in Bengal before the date of the battle of Plassey. • ' 
He left England in 1749, a lad of seventeen, fresh from 
Westminster School and a few weeks' mercantile training, and 
reached Bengal, July 16, 1749. For the first two years he served 

1 India Office Records, Range I. 28, pp. 592, 675, &c. * Vide p. 50. 



at Calcutta as a writer in the secretary's office. A vivid account 
of the kind of life that went on inside one of the Company's 
export depots in that century is given in Fryer's description 
of Bombay.^ It would be a very sound knowledge of practi- 
cal trade that Hastings would learn in such a place and among 
such cunning dealers and an jpsight into hufnan nature not at 
its best. He seems at once to have set to work to learn the 
language, for in 1755 he was able to conduct an inquiry into 
the possibilities of trade in an up-country district, and in 1757 
he was charged with a mission to the/native Court, where 
Persian was spoken. It is characterisfb of the man that he 
emerged from twenty years of such work and intercourse with 
Hindus and Mussulmans of all ranks, inspired with a genuine 
liking for, and interest in, the natives and free from the loud, 
overbearing manner considered indispensable by the Cover- 
ings, Bolts, Gorings, and Reeds, his contemporaries. He 
reaped a reward of the greatest value to him throughout his 
career, in the confidence and regard with which the natives 
repaid his trust in them, from the Nawab Kasim Ali down to 
the meanest coolie. By 1753 Hastings had been sent up the 
river as Assistant at Kasimbazar.^ To experience of the 
work at the main export settlement he thus added a know- 
ledge of the methods of collecting, sorting, and pricing the 
investment goods at the subordinate factories for transit to 
Calcutta, he records of this factory for some months were 
in his charge; cppies of them are among the India Office 
records, and are signed here and there in his bold hand.* His 

* ' Here they live in shipping-time in a continual hurly-burly, the Banyans 
[native middlemen] presenting themselves from 10 in the morning to 12 
and then in the afternoon at 4 till night, as if it were an exchange in every 
row ; below stairs packers and warehouse keepers together with merchants 
bringing and receiving musters make a mere Billingsgate, for if you make 
not a noise they hardly think you intent on what you are doing. ... As soon 
as you have set foot on shore they [the Banyans] crowd in their service, 
interposing between you and all civil respect as if you had no other business 
than to be gulled. They are the absolute map of sordidness, enduring 
servilely foul words, affronts, and injuries for a future hope of gain. Their 
whole desire is to have money pass through their fingers. As for their 
dealings in the world they are well-skilled and will arithmetize the nicest 
fractions without help of pen and ink, much given to traffic and intelligent 
in the way of merchandize if not fraudulent.' — Fryer, Travels in Persia and 
Hindostan, p. 214. 

2 India Office Records : Bengal Civil Servants, No. i. 

. India Office Factory Records : Kasimhazar. 


chief, William Watts, was one of the most able and prominent 
of the Company's senior servants. He recognized the ability 
of his new subordinate, and on October 25, 1755, Hastings 
was promoted to a place on the factory council, then to the 
posts of secretary and storekeeper. But within a fortnight 
the Calcutta Coun(*il gave permjjpion to the factory to send 
one of their servants to inspect a district across the Pudda 
River,^ known as the Putney Aurungs. Here many villages 
of weavers were established in a region ap.t to be inundated by 
floods, and on that ac^lDunt the more secure from inundations 
of human marauders, 'f'he peasants were occupied in growing 
silk, which they sold in the cocoons or spun and wove into cloths 
of fine quality. Hastings was selected for this mission and 
left Kasimbazar on November 21, 1755, entrusted with the 
considerable sum of Rs. 10,000, so that he might take all oppor- 
tunities that offered of purchasing the Novemberbund or new 
crop of raw, unwound silk called Putney. In a week's time 
he made his first report from a place called Chuncaparra, 
sending patterns of the silk produced in the last two months. 
He then moved on, making inquiries and purchases, and 
finally selecting a place called Powa^ as a suitable centre for 
the Company to establish an aurung for the winding of raw 
silk. This was done, and the number of men employed appears 
to have been considerable, amounting witfi those in the Com- 
pany's service at Kasimbazar to 1,400. Hastings's last letter 
from this district is dated January 12, 1756., From February 
there is a sudden breach in the Kasimbazar records. On 
June 24 Siraj-ud-Daula captured the factory on his march 
towards Calcutta, and no doubt destroyed the ledgers of the 
last four months. There is no mention of Hastings in the 

* The Pudda is not marked on Rennell's map. There are references to it 
in vol. iii of S. C. Hill's Indian Record Series : Bengal, p. 301, and its posi- 
tion is explained by Tieffenthaler in his account of Bengal, p. 438, in these 
terms : ' le grand Gange, qui prend son cours vers Dacca, s'appelle Padda 
ou Paddauvati.' The great and lesser Ganges branches divide at a place 
called Kasihathi, fourteen miles from Murshidabad. The Little Ganges, 
which flows down to Calcutta, is called Bhagirathi. Vide Thornton's 
Gazetteer, ' Ganges ' . 

^ Indian Office Factory Records: Kasimbazar, Dec. 14, 1755. This 
Powa is probably a village near Rampora or Rampur Boalia to which 
place Hastings expressed the intention of moving from Cnuncaparra in 
a letter dated Nov. 28, 1755. 



accounts of the surrender of the place. He himself state^ 
that he was imprisoned at Murshidabad, and this may be 
explained by the fact that he had been ordered thither by the 
Calcutta Council on February i6. A dispute had arisen 
between the Company's men and some native officials, who, it 
was hoped, might be actingpwithout the knowledge of their 
Government. Hastings, already proficient in Persian, the 
diplomatic language of the East Indies, was sent with a col- 
league to attend the Durbar, demand a private audience of the 
Nawab, and put the English case beforj^him.^ It seems prob- 
able that this matter detained him at thr capital until Siraj-ud- 
Daula's quarrel with the English broke out, when those at hand 
would be the first secured. Even if Hastings had already re- 
turned to the aurungs before the Nawab's advance upon 
Kasimbazar, he would still lie in the enemy's path.^ Certainly 
he was detained at the capital during the captivity of Holwell 
and his fellow survivors of the Black Hole tragedy. Hastings 
enjoyed more favourable treatment than they. He was 
allowed to go at large and lived in the Dutch factory, whence 
he was able to intercede for the prisoners and to procure some 
alleviations of their plight. How came he to receive such 
favours } Some light is thrown on this question by words of 
his written six years later in an attempt to persuade his 
employers to put reliance in native officials : ' As I have 
formerly lived among the country people in a very inferior 
station, at a time- when we were subject to the most slavish 
dependence on the Government, and met with the greatest 
indulgence and even respect from the Zemindars and officers 
of the Government, I can with the greatest confidence deny 
the justice of this opinion ' [viz. that no power can safely be 
trusted in their hands].^ Hastings was evidently tactful in 
his relations both with Dutch rivals and with the natives. He 
treats them fairly and respects their susceptibilities, and he is 
not disappointed in the response they make. The importance 

1 India Office Bengal Imp. Press List, 1756, Minutes of Consultations, Fort 
William, February 15. 

* ' The other European factories, where Messrs. Hastings and Marriott, 
who had been absent at some of the aurangs, also found refuge after being 
plundered of all they possessed.' — IndianRecurd Series: Bengal m 27^6, p. Ix. 

3 House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, p. 486; Bengal Public Cons. 
Range I. 33, March i, 1763. 


of this attitude can hardly be over-estimated. It is largely 
Sue to this that he acquired such influence in Bengal, both 
with his superiors and at the Court of the Nawab, as to be 
appointed Resident there after the troubles, and it was the 
experience so acquired that caused the Directors to turn to 
him in 1771 as tht? one man wh^could extricate Bengal from 
the confusion into which it had fallen. This attitude under-; 
lay Hastings's later policy : in revenue collection, in trade, in^ 
customs regulations, and in policing the country he relied 
mainly on native cooperation and sought systematically to 
develop native modes^f law and control rather than to sub- 
stitute for them our foreign methods. 

The autumn of 1756 was a critical season for the English 
in Bengal, and afforded Hastings the opportunity of his life. 
The Calcutta refugees were clinging to their last hold in the Pro- 
vince, Fulta, a village in the Twenty-four Parganas, but were 
cut off from supplies, which the natives dared not bring them. 
In this extremity their leaders. Major Killpatrick, Messrs. Drake, 
Watts, and Holwell, besought the Dutch to appeal on their 
behalf.^ The Dutch referred them to Hastings, who was then at 
Kasimbazar, not daring themselves to promote the restoration 
of their rivals. Hastings was then entrusted with a letter for 
the Nawab. He failed to get access to him, but presented it 
to the Diwan Amedroy, and was so far successful in his nego- 
tiations that a market for provisions was opened at Fulta and 
the Nawab ordered the ' restoration of all that had been taken 
from the English ', and this notwithstanding that ' the English 
were never mentioned but with pity or contempt ', as Hastings 
himself had reported only a month earlier. Until October 
Hastings continued to send constant advices of the condition 
of affairs at Court, but on the 20th he found it advisable to 
take flight to Chinsurah and so rejoined his own people before 
the arrival of Clive's relieving force of 900 Europeans and 
1,500 sepoys from Madras. His intimate knowledge of the 
Nawab's situation made him of essential value in Clive's 
councils, and he accompanied the forces as a volunteer to the 
recapture of Calcutta and in the later advance to Plassey. 
^ India Office Records, Range A. i, September 20, 1756. 


Factory Records: Kasimbazar 

To Mr. Warren Hastings. Cossimbuzar, November 21, 1755. 

Sir, — Agreable to the President & Council's permission for sending 
one of our Board to the Putney Aurungs, We direct tha,t you make the best 
of your Way to those on the othefcfiide of the Puddl, where you are to get 
the best information you can of tne present prices of the Various kinds 
of Putney at the several places ; and inform us thereof, sending to us at 
the Same time Musters of Such Sorts as you think properest for producing 
Silk agreable to our Honble. Masters' Directions in the last List of Invest- 
ment, Coppy whereof we hereunto annex, you must likewise Endeavour 
to learn what Quantity of Novemberbund is li^ly to be produced & what 
purchasers are there & expected, & give us e# ry other information you 
can, whereby we may Judge whether the Pric^is likely to rise or fall. 

As we shall have an immediate occasion for a Quantity of Putney we 
give into your Charge 10,000 Rupees, which you must invest in Such as 
you think will produce (when wound off) Silk equal to the Musters we Send 
with you. 

As to the rest We must leave it to your Directions [? Discretion] to act 
in Such a manner as the Various Circumstances Shall require & as you may 
Esteem most Elegible for our Honble. Masters' Interest. 
We wish you Success in your undertakings and are Sir 

Your loving friends & Servants 

Wm. Watts & Co. 


To the Worshipful William Watts, Esq. 

Chief etc, etc. Council at Cossimbuzar 

Worshl Sir & Sirs, — Herewith I send you musters of 6 Letter' d raw silk 
wound off from Some Mullock Putney of about equal fineness with the 
2 head Musters wh. I lately sent for your Inspection. If this meets your 
approval I will make a further tryall with the 5 Letter'd. The following 
Calculation will shew v^hdit the whole Charges in winding etc. will amount 
too & likewise the price of each letter. 

Viz. Prime cost 6. 5. 3 

Contingent charges i . 6 

Svm w^ Rups 6. 7. o 

Difference of batta supposed 3.2 % 3-9 

Sicca 6. 3. 3 

Batta 4h % cent. 4. 6 

Dell R' 6. 7. 9 


Charges winding off 14 p pud is p R» 5-7 
The Whole Am* p seer 6. 13! 4 

[Details of Investment policy follow.] 
... To this I might likewise add that no Troubles of the Government ever 
affect this country in the same Degree as they are felt at Cossimbuzar, 
whether tis owing to the Breadth & Difficulty of passing the Pudda, The 
Distance from the Metropolis, or from whatever Cause it may proceed. 
This place being looked upon as a Safe assylum from Public Dangers as 
is evident from the Multitudes of Winders, Weavers etc that fled hither in 
the time of the Morattas, & to avoid the Exactions of Kissen Deb & on 
other occasions ... I am 

Worship! Sir and Sirs 

Your most obedient 
& most humble Servant 

Warren Hastings. 

Entered after Consultations on Jan. 4, 1756. 



. , 1757 TO 1772 


Effects of Plassey— English all-powerful — A veiled revolution — Dustuks 
abused — Inland trade usurped — Nawabs powerless — Clive's second 
administration — The nominal Diwani — Irresponsibility of the dual 
authorities — Successful experiments. 

The story of the y^s that followed upon Clive's victory at 
Plassey falls into two natural divisions, from 1757 to 1765, and 
from 1765 to 1772. The first is the period of unorganized / 
English power in Bengal ; the second that of Clive's unhappy Z 
attempt at organization known as the dual system of govern- 
ment. The first opens a new epoch in the relations of England 
with India, and opens it badly ; the second makes bad worse. 

Up to the point of Siraj-ud-Daula's defeat, the English in 
Bengal, as in Madras and Bombay, had paid obedience to the 
native rulers. They had been in the main favoured above 
other subjects, both native and European, on account of the 
wealth they brought and the impetus they gave to the trade 
of the country. Yet they had been in Bengal on sufferance 
and by virtue of grants which might b^ annulled whenever 
they should affront a powerful Nawab. Fortunately for 
English interests Siraj-ud-Daula had been unpopular; he 
was hated for his folly, vice, and cruelty ; it was the intrigues 
of his rival, Mir Jafar, as much as the British arms, that over- 
threw him. After their victory the English were in the posi- 
tion of arbiters between the two factions and retained all real 
power in their own hands. By the treaty made with Mir 
Jafar in 1757 they became the masters of Bengal, in fact 
though not in name, for they alone had reliable troops suffi- 
cient to enforce their will. By the terms of this treaty the 
Company gave a general pledge of assistance as follows : 

' Article XIII. — That we will assist Mir Jaffier Khan Baha- 
dur with all our force, to obtain the Soubahship of the Pro- 
vinces of Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa ; and further that we will 


1757 TO 1772 

assist him to the utmost against all his enemies what- 
soever.' ^ * 

In return they were to receive the confirmation to them of 
the Zemindari and the Twenty-four Parganas, the French 
factories were to be given up, ten million rupees were promised 
as compensation to the Conf;^any, five million to the English 
inhabitants, two million to the Indians, and 700,000 to the 
Armenians. The grant of the dustuk was also confirmed, 
with these striking additions : ' Whoever acts contrary to 
these orders, the English have full p|^Jver to punish them. 
When the English Company desire to settle a new factory you 
are to give them 40 begahs of the King's land.' These two 
clauses alone are enough to show that the English no longer 
relied on the Nizamut or native Government to see justice 
done, but themselves compelled obedience to their claims. 
In fact, the effect of Plassey was to reverse for good the posi- 
tions of the English Company and the native Government. 
In theory the Company held no legal status, formed no integral 
part of the Mogul Empire, and were in name no more than 
Zemindars of a small district round Calcutta; in fact they 
held the power to interfere at will in any matter whether 
military or civil, and to compel the Nawab's officers, from the 
Nazim downwards, to enforce their wishes. Their reason for 
not openly assuming the government was a dread of provoking 
their European rivals. The Diwani or charge of the revenue 
and virtual control of the Government was offered to Clive 
by the Emperor's Vizier in 1759 {vide p. 67), and he recog- 
nized that it was * a fair opportunity of making the Com- 
pany all in all '. He would probably have accepted it, but for 
his employers' fears of the jealousy it might arouse and 
because of the need it would involve of larger forces than he 
could at the moment induce them to send him. The Directors 
wished to avoid all outward show of authority and all cares 
of administration while they securely enjoyed the ability to 
exploit Bengal : but it is only fair to them to remember that 
they were not alive to the decayed condition of the native rule. 

* /MitaO/^C(fi?«cords, Abstract Coast and Bay, No. i,p. 187, paragraph 83. 



None the less, without the name of any formal change, the 
state of the country underwent a complete revolution. The 
Company had no administrative organization ; to create one 
would have been to encroach openly on the Nawab's sphere of 
action. The power of the English Company up and down the 
provinces was exeiPcised as befcfpe by their servants, mere 
clerks and factors, who were, in all that related to government, 
alike untrained and uncontrolled, but backed now, whenever 
they chose to interfere in it, by strong military forces. The 
Hindu, practised in clv;j^ging masters, quickly recognized this 
informal revolution a^il promptly paid court to the new 
power. Each English factor and Resident found himself the 
sovereign in his own district, sought and flattered by traders 
and Zemindars, and all kinds of abuses arose, especially in the 
private tx;^de. 

The registration of dustuks, ordered just before the war, had 
lapsed or proved insufficient, and in January 1758 a further 
step was taken to prevent their misuse by natives. A peon or 
foot-soldier was dispatched with each frank to accompany the 
goods and see that the permit was returned in due course to be 
cancelled by the President, a special fee of five rupees being 
charged for this service.^ Yet the abuse evidently continued, 
judging by the following extract from the ^Calcutta Proceed- 
ings of December 29, 1758 : * Such restrictions are laid on the 
privilege as 'tis hoped will prevent the Company's servants 
covering the property of others and defrauding the Govern- 
ment of its just duties,' ^ Indeed, almost every page of the 
Company's correspondence during the years 1759 to 1764 
bears evidence that the dustuk was in the hands of natives. 
Some were bona fide agents of the Company or of their ser- 
vants, but even these perverted it to their own private uses, 
while many were independent traders who had usurped the 
privilege. All equally disputed the claim of the Nawab's 
subordinates to custom dues, and the revenues of Mir Jafar 
and his successors suffered in proportion. 

But a worse evil had arisen and one which increased the 

1 India Office Records, Abstract Coast and Bay, No. i, January 10, 1758, 
paragraph 97. 2 Ibid., p. 339. 

1526.9 » 


1757 TO 1772 

opportunities for the first. This was the intervention of 
Europeans in a branch of trade to which they had no right, 
the inland trade. The investment and private trade were 
both branches of export trade, but the inland was a traffic in 
commodities produced and consumed within Bengal, and con- 
sisting for the most part such necessaries as salt, grain, 
betel-nut, and tobacco. It had hitherto been entirely in the 
hands of natives, and its retail formed one of the main sources 
of profit to the poorer sort. The grants made to the Com- 
pany gave them no right to share in it, pjpr could their servants 
justly claim rights denied to the masftrs. Only the collapse 
of the power of the Nizamut made it possible for Englishmen 
to take up this trade, and the fact that between 1757 and 1760 
they began to do so is evidence that Mir Jafar was unable to 
maintain due authority. For Europeans merely to ^nter this 
trade was in itself an abuse, but not content to compete in the 
open market they used their privileged position under the 
English flag to procure a practical monopoly. Few natives 
dared to dispute the trade with them, and those who did were 
soon worsted, for the dustuk enabled the European to procure 
supplies at half the cost incurred by his rival. In many cases 
the price of the commodities depended less on the cost of 
production than on the high rates paid in transit at the innu- 
merable chowkies. As the number of merchants liable to pay 
decreased, the rate of the tolls was often raised to make up the 
usual * farm ', apd thus the native was doubly mulcted while 
the Englishman's wares passed free. Arrived at the market, 
the Hindu looked to recoup himself by asking a higher price 
than formerly, and the Englishman could thus afford to under- 
sell him and yet keep his own price above the original market 
rates. The result was that the English traders could at once 
choke out the native competitor and yet charge famine prices 
to the wretched consumer. Their commanding influence 
further enabled them to force their goods on the country 
people at their own prices, ' selling goods by Force for more 
than the current Market price : A Practice called in this 
country Barja, or Guchavut '.^ 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. ii, p. 293. 



, These abuses were enhanced and complicated by the unwar- 
ranted spread of the uncovenanted European traders or free 
merchants. Once confined to the ports, these men had now 
penetrated all parts of the country, prosecuting the private 
trade for which they held the Company's licence, and also 
following the Company's servar0s in their invasion of the 
inland trade, and in many cases acting as their accredited 
agents in both. Owing no direct responsibility to the Calcutta 
authorities, they found it even easier than the covenanted 
servants to evade corlyrol or detection in their malpractices,, 
and brought much disdledit on the Company's name, since the 
Hindu could not well discriminate between these two classes. 

By these practices not only the native Government was 
defrauded of its dues from large volumes of trade, but its 
poorer subjects were reduced to ruin. Mir Jafar's reign saw 
the general adoption of the inland trade by Englishmen ^ as 
well as the abuse of the dustuk, although it was not until Mir 
Kasim's accession that these grievances were made generally 
known to the chiefs of the Company at home. From 1760 
onwards they formed the main topic of constant disputes 
in the Council's correspondence with the Nawab, and at the 
Calcutta Board itself, while the temper of the English mer- 
chants grew more and more insolent and insubordinate. 
Free merchants and covenanted servants made common cause 
against any attempt to regulate their conduct or check their 
rapacity, and the majority of the Councillors.upheld practices 
in which they themselves were interested. Clive's successor 
in the Presidency, Vansittart, was himself an honourable man, 
but failed to stem the tide of corruption, as the following 
extracts from the Public Consultations of the Board on May 3, 
1764, may serve to show : 

* Every method has been tried for carrying on the inland 
trade upon such a footing as to prevent disputes between our 
Agents and the Country Government or between one Agent 

1 The historian Mill says that duties were paid until Kasim's accession, 
and no doubt the impotence of the Nizamut would not be fully realized till 
then, but the absence of complaints in the years from 1757 to 1760 is more 
likely to have been due to Jafar's weakness and reluctance to present 




$Z * 1757 TO 1772 

and another ; and for deciding in a just and reasonable Manner 
such as might unavoidably happen. Having experienced th6 
Obstructions to which that Trade would be liable, if the 
Officers of the Country Government were admitted to any 
authority over the English Agents, it was resolved in Consulta- 
tions of 5th of March, 1763, that the chief of the nearest English 
Factory should finally deter|^,ine all such Disputes, and as the 
Rungpore, Dinagepore, and adjacent Districts, where a very 
considerable part of the Inland Trade centres, appeared to be 
too far removed from any of our Factories to admit of any 
such Enquiry being made in a satisfactory Manner, for this 
Reason principally it was agreed, that ^'^^Qmox Servant should 
be appointed to reside at Rungpore, ^ao should have Power 
to hear and determine all Disputes. 

' No sooner is this Resolution carried into Practice, than 
some of the English Agents complain as loudly of injuries 
suffered from the Authority of the English Agent as they did 
before of the Nabob's Government. 

' Shall there then be no Government, no Restraint upon 
those excesses, which either Ignorance, Passion, or Self- 
interest may lead an English Agent to commit in the Coun- 
try ? This is really the case at present. Our Charter does not 
authorize our Courts to take cognizance of any crimes they 
might commit in these parts ; and it has been laid down as 
a fundamental principle that the Country Government shall 
have no power of them. We need not look further for the 
root of that Licentiousness.' ^ 

The remedy attempted was to command that * All Euro- 
peans, Portuguese Natives, and Armenian Agents, who are now 
up the country ^hall have notice given them to settle their 
concerns so as to return to Calcutta by November 3rd next ; 
and that after that Time no European shall be permitted to go 
up the country under any Pretext whatever or any other 
agents be employed in our Trade but Bengal Natives But 
this was by no means a satisfactory measure : the Bengal 
gomastahs and native banyans had in many instances been 
the instigators of the abuses, acting for English masters, 
ignorant of the local customs and easily persuaded that their 
privileges were in danger. The English agents found it easy 
to point to instances of insolent and oppressive behaviour on 
the part of the banyans, and argued that they were without 

^ House of Commons Reports, vol. ii, p. 293. 


the most elementary notions of justice and fair dealing, and 
unfit for such trust. The commands, though reinforced by 
the orders of the Directors, proved a dead letter. 

In this way the period from 1757 to 1765 became the darkest 
in our Indian history : English corruption and greed on the 
one hand, and thS impotence c#the Indian officials on the 
other, led to incessant friction, open hostility, and repeated 
revolutions of the native Government, managed by the Com- 
pany's influence. Mir Jafar, Clive*s puppet Nawab, was first 
deposed in 1760 as be|p too weak to conduct the government 
and defence of the couScry satisfactorily. He was unwise, too, 
in his treatment of the native princes, and roused opposition 
by deposing Hindu grandees in favour of Mahomedan new- 
comers. His Zemindars openly defied his authority, withheld 
their revenues, and refused to send contingents to his army, 
while they complained bitterly of the encroachments of the 
English. His successor, Mir Kasim Ali, on the other hand, 
was chastised for proving too strong {vide p. 70) and successful 
in his resistance to the English fomenters of disorder, and was 
replaced in 1764 by the original creature, more than ever the 
tool of the Calcutta Council. It needed skilful statesmanship 
to govern by means of so feeble a one, and neither Vansittart 
nor his temporary successor, Spencer, was^a statesman. The 
Company found it necessary to turn to Clive, who had been 
absent from India for five years, and as President of the Select 
Committee of the Calcutta Council now set up they entrusted 
him with practically dictatorial powers over the Council itself, 
as well as the country. In despair of agreement with the 
English, Kasim Ali had attacked them, had then fled to Oudh 
and induced the Vizier to take the field with him, the new 
Emperor Shah Alam being in their hands. On their defeat by 
Colonel Munro at Buxar in 1764 Shah Alam committed him 
self to the English, who proceeded to conquer parts of Oudh, 
taking the eastern region, Ghazipur, and the adjoining Zemin- 
dari of Balwant Sing temporarily for themselves and making 
over Kora and Allahabad to the Emperor. 

These events in India were simultaneous with the appoint- 
ment in England of Lord Clive, news of which reached Calcutta 


1757 TO 1772 

on January 24, 1765. They were followed in February by the 
death of Mir Jafar, and the scene upon which Clive entered in 
May was a greatly changed one. Rehabilitated by the Eng* 
lish alliance, the Mogul, Shah Alam, was anxious to return 
to Delhi, where the Afghans were in the ascendant, having 
shattered their rivals, the ^^prathas, at Pahiput in 1761. The 
Vizier of Oudh, Shuja-ud-Daula, had been brought by his 
defeat and loss of territory to desire reconciliation with the 
English, while the Company had found its new acquisitions, 
the Oudh lands of Ghazipur and Bei^res, more burdensome 
than profitable. A new policy had tcpoe evolved, and Clive's 
far-reaching views prevailed with the Directors. Ever since 
1759 his ideal had been to acquire the real sovereignty of 
Bengal, and, as he then suggested to Chatham, to vest it in 
the Crown. While he was careful to conceal the latter aim 
from his employers, he urged the former successfully upon 
them. They determined to uphold the ancient dignity of the 
Mogul, and by his sanction to acquire the control of Bengal ; 
to shut out the rival dangers of Afghan and Maratha raids by 
strengthening the Vizier of Oudh and using his territory as 
a barrier against them ; and to furnish Bengal itself with so 
strong a force of European and Sepoy troops that the Com- 
pany should remain the arbiter in all disputes. This was the 
cardinal point of the policy upon which the rest must hinge, 
and could only be successful, in the view of the Directors, if 
sanctioned by t\ie supreme traditional authority, the Mogul. 
Clive therefore hastened to secure an interview with Shah 
Alam. On the death of Mir Jafar, President Spencer had 
installed as Nawab a young prince, Nujum-ud-Daula, with 
a Mahomedan minister, Mohamed Reza Khan, and an English 
Resident, Francis Sykes, to be joint directors of his Govern- 
ment.^ To regularize this action and to secure his general 
policy Clive drew up a treaty with the Mogul at Allahabad, 
by which the Emperor granted to the English Company the 
office of the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Thus for 
the first time the English merchants became members of the 
native executive, and the country was governed on what is 

^ Vide p. 72. 



known as the Dual System. The external policy was secured 
\)y an agreement to restore Shah Alam to Delhi with a tribute 
from Bengal and the grant of the two Oude provinces of 
Kora and Allahabad ; to restore Shuja-ud-Daula to Oudh, 
thus reduced in extent, and to support him by force of arms if 
necessary ; and* fiftally to maintpn sufficient English forces in 
Bengal itself to guarantee these arrangements. The internal 
policy was far less clearly defined, or even envisaged, either by 
Clive or the Directors. They appear to have ignored the 
administrative respfJasibility involved in the Diwani, and 
devoted their attentiJli solely to the reinforcement of order 
among their own servants. The eighteen months in which 
- Clive retained his dictatorial powers were spent in setting the 
military and civil establishments to rights. 

Therewere by this date in Bengal, in addition to the Nawab*s 
irregular warriors, large forces under the banner of the East 
India Company. They comprised in 1764 eighteen battalions 
of Sepoys, twenty-four companies of European infantry, with 
four companies of artillery, one troop of Hussars, and about 
1,200 irregular cavalry. These troops Clive reorganized in 
three brigades, each establishment consisting of the following : 

I Rossalah or troop of cavalry. 
I Company of artillery. 
7 Battalions of Sepoys. 

I Regiment, i. e. 9 companies, of European infantry.* 
These three brigades were stationed at i^llahabad, Patna, 
and Monghyr, to be within easy reach of the exposed Province 
of Oudh. With the assumption of the Diwani and English 
responsibility for the safety of Bengal, it became necessary to 
settle the relations of English and native forces. Mr. Sykes 
proposed to the Nawab ' to dismiss the useless rabble he 
maintains of horse and foot, and to accept in their room of 
a thousand or fifteen hundred of our Sepoys ; whereby a 
saving will arise to the Company of eighteen Lacks to be 
deducted from the thirty-six Lacks ^ of the Nabob's stipend 
that was to pass through Mohamed Reza Cawn's hands for 

1 Williams, Historical Account of the Bengal Native Infantry, p. 3. 
* This sum represents 27 lacs paid to the Nawab, and 9 lacs paid to 
M. R. Cawn. 


56 ' 1757 TO 1772 

it would ' conduce to the public good to have the affair of the 
Nabob of Patna and the several Phouzdars, Rajas, and Zemin- 
dars over the Country established with more economy and 
their collections made without the charge of the military 
Forces, which they at present maintain '.^ This reform appears 
to have occasioned the crea^on of a peculiar force known as 
the Pargana Battalions. It consisted of one battalion of each 
brigade ' turned over to the Revenue Department *, and six 
new battalions which * were solely dependent on the Revenue 
Board Two more were added shortlviafter.^ This curious 
arrangement was made to give the coll^or a force with which 
he might compel the payment of the revenue. The effect of 
it was to enhance the overweening powers which shortly came 
into the hands of isolated Englishmen in the country districts, 
and to undermine the military discipline of troops employed 
on such ignoble service. 

In both the military and civil departments of the Company's 
service Clive had to encounter a mutinous spirit. Since 1757 
the army had received from the Nawab a payment known as 
the * double batta ' ; on assuming control of the finances as 
Diwan, the Company declined to continue this species of bounty 
allowance. There was great indignation and the officers in 
a body threw up their commissions. Clive was equal to the 
emergency, accepted their resignations, and replaced the 
most truculent with officers and men from the Madras estab- 
lishment. A simjilar outbreak occurred in the Civil Service. 
Many of the senior servants had fallen victims to Kasim Ali's 
exasperation, the juniors proved to be unfitted to replace 
them, and Clive called in men of experience from Madras. 
The juniors retorted by entering into a league to boycott the 
new-comers, and even the august President himself, but were 
forced to acquiesce in their deposition. A Committee of 
Inspection was then set up with a general censory power over 
all branches of the establishment. A further restriction was 
placed on the conduct of the servants by a prohibition of the 
practice of receiving ' nuzzerana ' or presents from the native 

1 India Office Records, Range A. 6, September 7, 1765. 

* Capt. Williams, A u Historical A ccount of the Bengal Native Infantry, p. 7 . 


princes. This exchanging of presents was an immemorial 
custom in the East, as the Hebrew Scriptures witness, the oil 
without which no part of the native Government machinery 
in India could be expected to work. Every official looked to 
the nuzzerana or ' teep ' ^ as a recognized part of his income, 
and in accepting^them from t^ir subordinates the English 
had been merely adapting themselves to the ordinary custom 
of the country. But it was a custom arising no doubt from 
the rule of might rather than that of law, and approaching 
dangerously near tc,|bribery, for when the English became 
supreme there was h* dly any limit placed to the sums that 
many of them demanded for their good offices. Each puppet 
Nawab had paid heavily to the English Councillors who sup- 
ported his pretensions, and the Court of Directors began to 
perceive with dislike that these huge sums contributed 
nothing to the Company*s coffers, while they served to drain 
the country of its resources and form a serious burden on the 
revenue. Those who entered the Company's employ had 
always signed covenants or indentures defining their duties 
and the trading privileges accorded them, but hitherto no 
provision had been made to deal with a practice so foreign to 
English experience as the nuzzerana. On May 2, 1764, a form 
was drawn up to cover these omissions, and dispatched by the 
ship in which Clive sailed, and all servants, of whatever rank, 
were called upon in future to sign these * New Covenants ' in 
addition to the original indentures. The, new undertakin 
pledged them to make over to the Company any acqui- 
sitions of treasure or land exceeding the value of Rs. 4,000, 
while the Calcutta authorities were empowered to license 
grants made up to Rs. 1,000. There was much delay and 
many evasions before these New Covenants were universally 
signed. Their effect was retrospective, but the attempt to 
recover moneys already received was long drawn out and 
not altogether successful. Clive's own jagir, granted in 
1757, had already received the Company's sanction, but was 
eventually made over to it for a compensation. 

With the reform of the inland trade Clive was not prepared 
^ Is this word the origin of Qur ' tip ' ? 



5^ ' 1757 TO 1772 

to deal summarily. Kasim Ali's outbreak had awakened the 
Court of Directors to the enormity of the abuse, and on Febru^ 
ary 8, 1764, they had ordered the cessation of the trade until 
such time as new regulations for its conduct could be framed 
at Calcutta.^ Those of May 1764 were meanwhile issued, 
but proved ineffectual,^ an^^, in October C764 the Calcutta 
Council resolved to await Clive's arrival before discussing any 
fresh measure. No action was taken until the new Select 
Committee met on August 10, 1765. Only two members were 
present on this occasion, Messrs. Verelst/ind Sumner, but they 
transacted business of the very graveju moment. They re- 
solved to create an ' Exclusive Company ' for the trade in 
salt, betel-nut, and tobacco produced in or imported into 
Bengal. The Society was to consist of the Company's ser- 
vants, divided into four classes according to seniority, the 
seniors each receiving four of the sixty shares into which the 
capital of thirty-two lacs was to be divided, the juniors one 
each.3 The sales were to be confined to certain recognized 
localities, of which eight were later appointed. On August 8 
the Council confirmed this scheme and appointed an exclusive 
committee, the two promoters and Messrs. Gray and Leycester, 
to deal with the business. On September 18 Clive was pre- 
sent at a Select Committee when the duties to be paid on the 
inland trade were fiked as thirty-five per cent, on salt, ten per 
cent, on betel, and twenty-five per cent, on tobacco. In 
consequence of the Diwani these duties were now payable to 
the Company ancf not to the Nawab as formerly. The agents 
of the Society of Trade, as it was now generally called, were 
chosen from among the free merchants and were the only ones 
allowed to live inland. They were placed under certain 
restrictions (November 5, 1765), forbidden to engage in trade 
on their own account, to lend money to officers of the native 
Government, to interfere with them or with the collections, 
or to exercise any judicial authority, but were to refer disputes 
to the Nizamut or to appeal to the Select Committee for 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv. Appendix 30, p. 507. 

2 See pp. 52-3. 

3 India Office Records, Range A. 6, p. 504, and Range A. 7, p. 143. 


redress. The effect of the new policy was twofold. In the 
* first place the restrictions, if scrupulously carried out, might 
have put an end to indiscriminate dealing in the inland trade, 
but on the other hand the practice of this trade by Europeans 
was now for the first time recognized and sanctioned, and the 
monopoly in fac* rendered a^loser one than ever, utterly 
excluding the native, whose proper sphere *it was, and con- 
fining the whole profit to the covenanted servants. Such 
action was contrary, both to the spirit and the letter of the 
Company's orders, aad on hearing of it the Directors reiterated 
the orders (Decemb^ 24, 1765) and refused to sanction the 
Society, protesting ' if you pay only two and a half per cent, 
[as was at first proposed] and the country people twenty per 
cent, or perhaps forty per cent., it is as much a monopoly as 
ever '. Yet Clive continued the Society of Trade and defended 
it in his correspondence with the Directors as a proper reward 
for the covenanted servants ; he limited its activity, however, 
to the salt monopoly, throwing the opium trade open on 
August 12, 1766, * subject to such restrictions only as the 
Ministers and Officers of the Government may think proper to 
impose for the benefit of the Company and the Public and 
in August 1767 relinquishing the trade in betel-nut and 
tobacco.2 It is evident that the creation of the exclusive 
Society had not attained its object of putting an end to general 
inland trade, for the Select Committee, in obedience to the 
Directors' orders, had, in December 1766, to restrict the use of 
the dustuk and to forbid all ' circular traffic from one Aurung 
to another '.^ 

To the end of his tenure of office, and beyond it, Clive clung 
to the salt monopoly. On January 16, 1767, he admitted to 
the Select Committee that he had received orders to abolish 
it, but added, * nevertheless the Court of Directors may be 
induced to settle some Plan agreeable to your wishes ', and he 
continued the defence on his return to England, writing from 
Bath on November 14, 1767, that salt had always been a 

^ India Office Records, Range A. 7, p. 61. 

2 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv. Appendix 59, p. 526. 

5 Ibid., p. 526. 



60 • 1757 TO 1772 

monopoly, that the Armenian who had farmed it in 1764 had 
paid the Nawab nearly ;f 200, 000 for the exclusive privilege, that* 
it was then worth ;f 300, 000 to the Company, whereas if thrown 
open at a duty of ten per cent, it would only produce £31,500. 
The Directors determined to throw it open at a low duty, but 
so far admitted Clive's argunjents in favour of their servants 
as to grant them^5pecial emoluments in lieu of the inland trade, 
a percentage, namely, of two and a half per cent, on the net 
territorial revenues accruing to the Company. The Society 
of Trade was consequently abolished an^i ceased to exist on 
September i, 1768, the date on which tl^' first percentage was 

This sketch of Clive's second administration shows that in 
every department large problems remained unsolved : in the 
military sphere the anomalous Pargana battalions led to 
disputes between civil and military chiefs ; in the civil service 
the question of covenants and presents was unsettled ; in the 
commercial, the relations between European and Native 
traders ; and in the sphere of government the vital question 
of taking over undisguised control. It had been repeatedly 
urged upon the Court of Directors before 1765 by Vansittart 
and others that radical changes were inevitable ; that they 
must either go forward or back, assume an official right to 
govern, or abstain frdm interference with the natives. Instead 
of making a choice between these alternatives, the effect of the 
Dual System was to attempt both. On the one hand the 
Diwani was the assumption of an official authority, and on 
the other hand the Directors reiterated in every letter the 
strictest injunctions to their servants not to interfere directly 
or indirectly with the business of the Government on pain of 
suspension. They failed to grasp what their new position 
involved, and thought it possible to confine themselves to their 
military obligations and trade, and to receive the revenues 
without carrying out the administrative duties of Diwan. By 

1 The whole subject of the salt trade was reopened by W. Hastings, who 
in the main adopted Clive's position on this question by making the trade 
a privilege of the Company, though not a monopoly of the servants, whose 
need of it had passed. The best account of it is in the India Office Records, 
Home Miscellaneous, vol. 92, near the end of the volume. 




|he treaty of Allahabad they undertook to guarantee that the 
Nawab should pay Shah Alam twenty-six lacs of rupees out of 
the revenues ; retain fifty-three for himself and for the expenses 
of administration ; and pay the remainder into the Company's 
coffers.^ Under the nominal authority of the English Diwan, 
the Native Diwani executive, itPwas thought, could still act, 
directed by a Naib Suba for each part of 'the province — 
Mohamed Reza Khan for Bengal, Shitab Roy for Bihar, and 
Roy Dulub for Orissa. At the same time the Company 
undertook to furnisbWroops for the defence of Bengal from 
all external and interifal foes. It had already been arranged 
with Mir Jafar that the Nawab was to maintain no more than 
12,000 foot and a like number of horse,^ and in fact the new 
Nawab, Mir Nujum, is said to have kept ' a great number for 
the Business of the Collections and the Parade of Government, 
but scarce any regular Military Force *. The sanction of the 
native executive and the authority of the Nizamut was in this 
way undermined, and the only real power left was that of the 
English troops. 

That Clive fully realized the impotence of the Nizamut, to 
which he left the maintenance of order, is patent from his 
final directions to the Calcutta Board of January i6, 1^67 : 

' The first point in Politics which I offer to your Considera- 
tion is the Form of Government. We are sensible that since 
the Acquisition of the Dewanni, the Power formerly belonging 
to the Soubah of these Provinces is Totally, ^n Fact, vested in 
the East India Company. Nothing remains to him but the 
Name and Shadow of Authority. This Name, however, this 
Shadow, it is indispensably necessary we should seem to 
venerate ; every Mark of Distinction and Respect must be 
shown him, and he himself encouraged to shew his Resentment 
upon the least want of Respect from other Nations. Under 
the Sanction of a Soubah every encroachment that may be 
attempted by Foreign Powers can effectually be crushed with- 
out any apparent Interposition of our own Authority ; and 
all real Grievances complained of by them, can, through the 
same channel, be examined into and redressed. Be it therefore 
always remembered that there is a Soubah, that we have 

* Aitcheson, Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds, vol. i, pp. 60-5. 

* House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, pp. 301-5. 

62 1757 TO 1772 

allotted him a Stipend, which must be regularly paid, in sup-, 
port of his Dignity, and that though the Revenues belong to 
the Company, the territorial Jurisdiction must still rest in the 
Chiefs of the Country acting under him and this Presidency in 
Conjunction. To appoint the Company's servants to the 
Offices of Collectors, or indeed to do any act^by an exertion of 
the English Power, which cat be equally done by the Nabob 
at our InstanceJ^ would be throwing off the Mask, would be 
declaring the Company Soubah of the Provinces. Foreign 
Nations would immediately take Umbrage and Complaints 
preferred to the British Court might have very embarrassing 
consequences.'^ m- 

To his colleagues Clive thus frankly avows the English 
supremacy, but cynically reminds them that ' there is a 
Soubah ' to serve as a mask, and that while the Company 
enjoys the revenues his servants are to do the work. The 
duplicity of the Dual System resulted, not unnaturally, in the 
total instability of the Government of Bengal. The collec- 
tions were by Clive's express orders left in the hands of the 
native agents. But the Nizamut, deprived of soldiery, could 
in no wise enforce the original system of checks upon them ; 
nor could the English, who alone had now the forces, supply 
a criminal jurisdiction the very existence of which they 
ignored. The views of the Court of Directors expressed at 
about the same tin^^e — for letters took from six months to 
a year to reach Calcutta — show that the Diwani was for them 
too a strictly financial office. They wrote as follows to the 
Council at Calcutta on May 17, 1766 : 

* We conceive the Office of Dewan should be exercised only 
in superintending the Collection and Disposal of the Revenues ; 
which Office, though vested in the Company, should officially 
be exercised by our Resident at the Durbar, under the controul 
of the Governor and Select Committee, the only bounds of 
which Controul should extend to nothing beyond the super- 
intending the Collection of the Revenues and the receiving the 
Money from the Nabob's Treasury to that of the Dewannah 
or the Company. And this we conceive to be neither difficult 
nor complicate, for at the annual Poonah the Government 
settles with each Zemindar his monthly Payments for the 
ensuing year, so the monthly Payments of the Whole from the 

* House of Commons Reports, vol. ii, p. 266. 




J^abob's Dewan is but the total of the Monthly Payments of 
each Zemindar : which must be strictly kept up, and if deficient, 
the Company must trace what particular Province, Rajah, or 
Zemindar has fallen short in his Monthly Payments ; or if it is 
necessary to extend the Power further, let the annual Poonah, 
by which we me^,n the Time when every Landholder makes his 
Agreement for the ensuing YeaJf be made with the consent of 
the Dewan or Company. This we conceive to be the whole 
Office of the Dewanny. The Administration of Justice, the 
Appointment to Offices or Zemindaries, in short whatever 
comes under the Denomination of Civil Administration we 
understand is to reri'»in in the Hands of the Nabob or his 
Ministers.' ^ ^ 

It is perfectly clear from this dispatch that the Company 
ignored its responsibility ; not only did the Directors fail to 
see that they had crippled the criminal jurisdiction of the 
Nizamut, they even failed to take up those tasks for which the 
Diwani distinguished them, the conduct of the Civil Courts 
and the collection of the revenues. It is misleading to say 
that the English in 1765 began to collect the revenues of 
Bengal ; they began to see that they were collected and to 
receive the lion's share of them, but the mode of collection, 
with all that it involved of extortion and oppression, they left 
to native agents. Nor could they have acted otherwise. It 
required years of toilsome investigation \o understand even 
the details, much more the main principles of the complicated 
systems of land-tenure and assessment on^which the collec- 
tions were arranged. The result was none the less disastrous ; 
the Dual System showed immediate symptoms of failure. 
From 1757 to 1765 the troubles of Bengal had been due to 
trade abuses ; from 1765 to 1772 they were due to the inherent 
defects in the new Government machinery. The whole horde 
of minor officials, Muttasaddis, Kanungoes, Amils, Zemindars, 
&c., were let loose to raise what they pleased from the culti- 
vators and traders. If the victims appealed to the Naib 
Nazim or his Faujdars, these had not the land-servants or 
peons by means of whom they had formerly enforced justice, 
and if complaints were addressed to the only man who had 

House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, p. 399. 


1757 TO 1772 

them, the English Resident, he could not tell right from wrong, 
and was besides peremptorily forbidden to interfere. The 
peasants were without appeal, and many in despair deserted 
their holdings, becoming vagabonds or dacoits or merely 
starving. That something of this was foreseen by experienced 
members of the native and 4 i the English governing bodies 
is evident from the correspondence that passed between the 
Calcutta Council and the influential persons at Murshidabad, 
while the new system was being set up (p. 75). 

As a matter of fact English interfere/ ':e was from the first 
inevitable. There was, indeed, one m^n empowered to con- 
cern himself with the native Government. The position of 
Francis Sykes was unique in 1765. He was a member of the 
Calcutta Council ; he was also Resident at Murshidabad. 
Mohamed Reza Khan consulted with him before taking any 
new measure, and submitted the accounts of the collections to 
him. Sykes reported all transactions to the Council, which 
did not scruple to criticize the accounts or forbid measures 
which they considered unsuitable. For instance, Sykes 
sends up on October 25, 1765, the * Account particulars of 
Revenues collected in the province of Purnea with the different 
charges attending them ', and they suggest reductions in these 
latter : he consults with Mohamed Reza Khan how the 
number of toll stations may be lessened and fixes them at 
twenty-four, and, most important of all, he creates the first 
courts of justice to be held on English lines outside Calcutta, 
and having jurisdiction over natives. 

But while Sykes was the only servant allowed to exercise 
influence with the Nizamut, some others had been gaining 
administrative experience in another sphere. In 1757 Mir 
Jafar had assigned the revenues of Burdwan, Midnapore, and 
Chittagong to the Company in payment of all outstanding and 
current debts, and in 1760 the districts were actually ceded to 
the Company. From 1758 they had taken over the manage- 
ment themselves, and by 1765 had begun to appreciate some 
of the difficulties involved. These three districts, in fact, 
proved the first nursery of English administrators for Bengal, 
as that province in turn was to be the school for our Imperial 


^administrators. The contrast between the good conditions 
obtaining in Burdwan under English conduct and those in the 
rest of Bengal first made clear to the Calcutta Council, and 
through them to the Court of Directors, that their Dual 
System needed amendment. The advice was taken of Sykes's 
successor, Becher, and of the Prdlident, Verelst, who had been 
previously for three years in charge of the ceded lands, Burd- 
wan, &c. The satisfactory result of the English management 
there led them to think that the like effect might be produced 
in the Nawab's landsilpr an English executive. They decided 
to intervene generallyrin the collections by means of ' super- 
visors *, i. e. ' the appointment of European gentlemen to 
supervise the different provinces, and to control the conduct 
of the agents of the Country Government ' ^ {vide p. 85). 
In theory the plan was a good one, but it did not take into 
practical account the enormity of the evils against which 
each young servant appointed to the new posts was expected 
to contend. None of them could have had more than 
three or four years' administrative experience, and that ex- 
perimental, in a medium entirely new to them. They must 
of necessity be dependent for information and the execu- 
tion of their orders on natives with whom venality was no 
crime : each in his district was absolute, with none to check 
him except on the evidence of his own reports. Five years 
were enough to prove the experiment of supervisorships a mis- 
take. Young servants with little or no ej^perience of the 
revenue system were hurriedly appointed in the middle of 
the financial year 1769, despite the protests of the very man 
who had proposed the plan, and saw that such haste would 
discredit it. They were empowered to suspend the native 
collector's proceedings and to examine his officers on any 
complaint brought before them. These native agents, who 
had been entirely uncontrolled since the crippling of 
the Nizamut in the year 1765, protested the impossibility of 
collecting the revenues unless they were given a free hand. 
Neither the authorities at Calcutta, the Resident at Murshid- 

1 Select Committee's Proceedings: Wheeler, Early Records of British 
India, p. 366. 

1326.9 p. 

66 1757 TO 1772 

abad, nor even Mohamed Reza Khan himself, the represen- 
tative of the Nizamut, could tell how far their protests were 
genuine, but since they produced a deadlock in the financial 
business, the Council was forced to yield to them and the 
obstructive powers of the supervisors were withdrawn for 
a time. Exceptions were nrfctde in the case of four experienced 
men, who retained office and were even empowered themselves 
to draw up the assessment for their districts and to preside 
over the collections, and by degrees this system became 
general. Its effects were twofold. Ii^ he first place, it made 
these Englishmen the supreme lords ekch in his own district, 
for their complete control of trade was now reinforced by the 
powers of a judge and those of a tax-collector. Armed in this 
triple brass they could exploit the country unhindered, and 
their posts became the most coveted in the service. The 
senior merchants and members of the Council were soon dis- 
persed all over the country districts as supervisors or Resi- 
dents, and the tedious work of the Calcutta Board was left to 
the President and any juniors he could prevail upon to form 
a quorum. The supreme body lost its weight, and its decrees 
were ignored ; nothing, it would seem, could be worse, and 
yet in this very system of supervisorships the seeds of a new 
order of things germinated. In the intervals of making their 
fortunes some of these men acquired experience and a real 
interest in the condition of their subjects, and so the way was 
paved for an a'ctive assumption of responsibility and that 
* starting forth as Dewan ' in fact as well as in name, which 
was to be publicly avowed in 1772, and to make the British 
' Raj ' once for all supreme in India. 

But for the time being only the ill effects were apparent in 
the supervisors' rule ; it merely created a fresh anomaly, and 
little more was needed to render the whole scene chaotic. 
This was contributed by fresh dispatches from England. 

The inquiries of 1766 to 1769 had led to the appointment of 
three Commissioners, Messrs. Vansittart, Scrafton, and Forde, 
with supreme powers to reform the administration. The 
directions for their reception involved changes in the Govern- 
ment, and these instructions reached India though the Com- 



^missioners themselves were lost at sea. The Calcutta Council 
and the Select Committee, while waiting vainly for their 
appearance, disputed as to the intention of the instructions, 
and issued contradictory orders in consequence. The Council 
created a Board of Revenue at Murshidabad and Patna in 
1770, July 6,^ to fake control oifthe collections, thereby super- 
seding the supervisors ; the Select Committe*e reiterated their 
orders to them to act independently. As if the negation of 
government thus produced were not enough to ruin the un- 
happy country, theri%jpefell at this very time the most grievous 
drought and famine anown in the history of India. It soon 
became a question, not how to tax the ryots but how to keep 
them alive ; the mortality was computed to amount to one- 
half, and whole tracts of Purnea and Bahar returned to jungle 
for lack of inhabitants. 

If 1756, the year of the ' Black Hole * disaster, looms dark in 
the history of Bengal, the period that follows serves only to 
deepen that gloom. Clive in his Dual System attempted 
to throw a light, but it proved to be the veriest will-o'-the- 
wisp, and the English Company wandered deeper and deeper 
into the night of disorder that seemed to many in 1770 without 
hope of dawn. Yet there were men who had learned from 
these grievous experiences, and among t^em the most expert 
and not the least devoted was Warren Hastings. 

No. I. First Offer of Diwani to Clive. 
/. O. Records, Abstract Coast and Bay, i. 237. 

Dispatch from Calcutta Board to the Court of Directors, 
October 9, 1759. 

Para. 9. Revenues of the Province amounting to 50 lacks 
p. a. the President has been applied to from the Vizier to 
become Collector thereof, that Officer is stiled the King's 
Duan and the second in rank in the Kingdom, nothing would 
be able to remove the weight it would give the Company. He 
has temporized for the present from the absence of their small 

1 India Office Records, Range A. 17. 


1757 TO 1772 

force and the small hopes of more, if more vigorous measures 
are not pursued a fair opportunity of making the Company alf 
in all here will be lost. 

Para. 11. ... the Forces requisite will be 2,000 Euro- 
peans. . . . 

Accounts of Kasim Ali and his Government. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29206. 
Memorial written by W. Hastings, undated. 

The necessity of the measures which #;casioned the removal 
of Jafiier Ali Cawn from the Subahshfl) has been very fully 
set forth in the first part of the Memorial.^ The choice of 
a successor to so weighty a charge could not possibly have 
fallen upon a better man for it than Mir Cossim, who was 
known to be possessed in a very high degree of those qualities, 
the want of which had ruined his predecessor and whose very 
faults (I mean such as were at that time known) were of that 
stamp which with respect to our Government gave them the 
merit of equal virtues. 

He was esteemed a man of understanding, of an uncommon 
talent for business, and great application and perseverance, 
joined to a thriftiness, which how little soever it might ennoble 
his own character was a quality most essentially necessary in 
a man who had to restore an impoverished state, and clear off 
debts which had b^^en accumulating for three years before. 
His timidity, the little inclination he had ever shown for war, 
with which he has been often reproached, would hardly have 
disqualified him for the Subahship, since it effectually secured 
us from any designs that he might form against our Govern- 
ment and disposed him the easier to bear the effects of that 
superiority which we possessed over him : a consequence 
which we soon had occasion to experience, since a spirit 
superior to that of a worm when trodden upon could not have 
brooked the many daily affronts and injuries w^hich he was 
exposed to from the instant of his advancement to the Subah- 
ship. He began his government with retrenching the extra- 
vagant expenses of his predecessor and had made a consider- 
able progress in discharging the vast debts with which he was 
encumbered, with the revenues of Bengal then in a state of 
distraction, before he possessed a foot of ground in the Pro- 
vince of Bahar. Here he was excluded from any authority or 
share in the revenue, and Ramnarain, the Naib of the Pro- 

^ It has not been possible to trace the first part of this Memorial. 



vince and an acknowledged servant of the Nabob, supported 
Tin an assumed independency in direct violation of the treaty 
which we had but just ratified with him ; from a pretended 
delicacy with respect to some prior engagement [which if it 
ever existed] never yet appeared upon record, nor could any 
one of those who were the frequent advocates for Ramnarain 
[i. e. Ellis, &c.]*e^er show of wlyt nature those engagements 
were. The war with the Shahzada was no s»oner at an end, 
and that Prince in our power, than a blind and mad zeal for his 
interests instantly superseded all our fidelity to the power in 
alliance with us, and instead of banishing him from the Pro- 
vince, (which had beln the most prudent step) or making use 
of the advantages whUh we had acquired by his defeat, while 
he remained in it, he became the lord of the province, the 
disposal of our rights was submitted to his will, denied us 
unless purchased at a large expense, the confirmation of the 
Nabob's title to the Subahdaree after we had thus rendered it 
necessary to his holding it, obstinately opposed till the Nabob 
found himself compelled to buy his vassalage at the rate of 

lacks ^ of rupees to the distress of his revenues and the great 
diminution of the English power to which he owed and by 
which alone he still held his government. The abetted inso- 
lence and forged plots of Ramnarain, the insulting arrogance 
of one commander, the caprice and credulity of the other 
formed the basis of all our transactions with the Nabob during 
the first period of his government which was concluded with 
that .extraordinary memorable parade of Col. Coote's through 
the Nabob's camps, an event [a break occurs at this point in 
the manuscript]. 

It is not to be doubted that Meer Cossim had in his con- 
stitution the seeds of that cruelty and revenge which burst out 
with such fury when his moderation and forbearance could no 
longer serve him in any stead. To his own subjects he had 
behaved with great lenity, of which some instances have been 
given in the course of this memorial. He had sense enough to 
know that the English friendship would be his greatest security 
and to dread their power if ever they should become his 
enemies. This made him put on the greatest caution to avoid 
giving any occasion for a dispute with them which might 
weaken his connections with the English in general, as it will 
be seen that on every occasion where he expressed his resent- 
ment of injuries done him, his oppressors never failed to 
produce it as an instance of his disaffection to the English and 
mistrust of their faith. In the first period of his government, 
while he saw himself in no great danger of coming to a rupture 
* Blank in the manuscript. 


1757 TO 1772 

with us, he steadily adhered to this principle ; but when dis- 
putes became more serious and seemed to portend a breach^ 
between us, sensible of the encreased power of his enemies, and 
disappointed of the support which he had been made to expect 
trom the Company, he found himself necessitated to act a 
different part and at the same time that he strove to evade the 
impending storm, to provide^ against the eficcts of it. This 
will be easily se^n in the change of his behaviour after the 
summoning of the General Council, and to this cause may be 
ascribed the too great attentions which he paid to the com- 
plaints of his officers and his connivance at their oppressions, 
which whilst his complaints against our/wn agents remained 
still unredeemed, he could not punish wCthout perhaps expos- 
ing his own weakness and forfeiting the attachment of the 
most useful of his subjects. Thus far his conduct will bear the 
severest examination. But how dreadful the reverse of his 
character when the war broke out and his temper, no longer 
under restraint, gave a loose to all his passions. The hoarded 
resentment of all the injuries which he had sustained in a con- 
tinual exertion of patience during three years of his govern- 
ment, now aggravated by his natural timidity, and the pro- 
spect of an almost inevitable ruin before him, from this time 
took entire possession of his mind and drove from thence every 
principle, till it had satiated itself with the blood of every 
person within his reach, who had either contributed to his 
misfortunes or even by real or fancied connection with his 
enemies became the objects of his revenge. Such was the 
dreadful end of the' measures which a violent party formed 
with immoveable perseverance from the beginning of Meer 
Cossim's Government, although I had spared no pains to 
persuade them and all the world of the necessity of the mea- 
sures which I had taken, to induce them to a temper less liable 
to produce those effects which have fallen with equal severity 
upon us all. 

/. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 335. 

Extract from the letter of a Servant at Murshidahad to the 
Calcutta Board} 

March 25, 1765. 

In the opinion of most people the collections were never so 
well attended to and known as under Cossim Ali Cawn, who 

^ The four servants sent as deputies to arrange Nujum's relations with 
the Company were Messrs. Johnstone, Senior, Middleton, and Gray, wha 
had now returned to Calcutta. 



abolished the exorbitant power of the Royroyan and placed 
4;he lands in the hands of different collectors who had under 
them from five to fifty lacks p. a. and were accountable only to 
the Nabob himself. Since his time the post of Royroyan has 
been re-established and the collections thrown into the old 
channel, the accounts of the Khalsa Jagheer etc. kept separate 
and Amils and* Riiouzdars appointed to the several districts 
which have been smaller and oP course the number of Amils 
and expence of collections much increased. .*. . 

Though we have not made it our business to interfere in 
what concerns the Collections, and to avoid giving any sus- 
picions to the Nabot^have been as tender as possible on this 
point, yet in the couMe of our inquiries We cant but observe 
they appear to have been managed both last year and this 
with most scandalous neglect and connivance. In every 
quarter tho' the country has been in tranquillity and the 
demands of the revenue everywhere greatly short of what they 
were fixed at in the Jummabundy settled by Mir Cossim, and 
none of the ballances due from the Zemindars in his time has 
been since demanded. Yet notwithstanding the Revenues 
have been everywhere suffered to fall behindhand and a very 
great proportion is still outstanding even of this year's rent, 
besides all the ballances of last year and not a month remaining 
of this year to recover it in. 

I. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 772. 
Minute of Mr. Sumner on the Method of fievenue Collections. 

December 20, 1765. 

The Elmaunders (stewards) and Carm^tcherries (clerks) 
collect the revenues from the tenants. They deduct their own 
wages, charges for paper, Ink, Oyl, Cutcherry repairs, and 
Peons wages from the rents, the Ballance is then remitted to 
the Izerdars (farmers). The Izerdars receive the Rents from 
the different Carmatcherries, they keep a Naib (deputy), 
Writers, Vackeels, and Peons, they defray sundry expences of 
the Cutcherries, and must (say they get no profit) at least 
maintain their own families as well as these Servants. The 
amount of their agreement they pay to the Zemindars. The 
Zemindars receive the Rents from the Izerdars, they keep 
a Duan, Carkoons, Writers, Vakeels, Jemmautdars, Peons, 
Pykes and all Guards. They further defray the charges of 
Poolbundy (repairs of dams), Kaulbundy (stopping overflowing 
of creeks), repairs of Cutcherries, expenses of Paper, Ink, Oyl, 



1757 TO 1772 

etc. at the place of the general collection ; the Zemindar him- 
self and family and Dependents must be maintained, and< 
a share of profit reserved for himself, their rents are then sent 
to the Oududar or Phouzdar. The Oududar or Phouzdar 
again defrays the charges of his Cutcherries and Servants and 
must himself be maintained with all his train. The charge 
of Servants stated in the Burdwan accounts under the head 
of Land-servants, is the same through the whole country ; 
a certain proportion of land is allotted for them in lieu of wages 
in every Zemindari more or less ; and upon the whole is com- 
puted to be equal if not more than what is allowed in the 
Burdwan province. . . . Thus it appe^s evident that the 
charges on the Collections of the Revenf ,es of Bengal are first 
deducted from the product of the lands and the ballance only 
which is paid into the Muxadavad Treasury esteemed their 
real value. 

No. 3. Arrangements made on the Accession of Nujum- 


/. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 195. 

Minute by Mr. Gray protesting against the Treaty concluded 
by President Spencer and the Council. 

February 19, 1765. 

However altho' it^ is agreed that Nujim-o-Dowla should 
be Nabob, yet this Mark of Friendship to his Family is clogged 
with Articles which leave him only the Name without any part 
of the Power. For without having consulted his opinion or his 
inclination it is d/ctated to him that Mohamed Reza Cawn, 
a servant of his father, at present Naib of Dacca, must be Naib 
Subah, and that in a manner which will throw the entire 
administration into his hands. It has been also proposed that 
the Collection of the Revenues should be equally divided 
between Maharange Nundcomar and Roydulub. And further 
it is resolved to reserve to the Board a negative Voice in the 
Appointment of all the other Mutseddies and Officers of the 
Government. From those articles of the Treaty proposed to 
be made with the new Nabob I from my heart dissent, con- 
sidering them as the greatest mortification we can offer to 
a Prince our Ally and not our Slave ; to one connected with 
us by the ties of Friendship and not subjected to us by con- 
quest. As to Mohamed Reza Cawn the late Nabob had a very 


great dislike to him because he was deficient in his Revenues, 
iJnd for other reasons, and the present Nabob not only hates 
him, but is jealous and afraid of his aspiring temper. To 
impose therefore such a person upon him is treating him with 
cruelty as well as indignity, and would rather serve to drive 
him to despair than to assist him in the Government. For 
Mohamed Reza*C*wn will have^oo great an opportunity of 
retaliating upon the Nabob for the injuries he«.will suppose he 
has sustained from his father. Besides Mohamed Reza Cawn 
is by no means of a sufficient Rank to hold a Post which com- 
mands such distinguished Mutseddies as the Royroyan and 
the Nizamut Dewan, ^o officers holding precedence of every 
man in the Country exm^pting the Nabob and his own Family. 

There appears to me a great impropriety in dividing the 
Revenues equally between Maharange Nundcomar and 
Roydulub, nor can it be done without altering the form of 
Government of the Country. Nundcomar is the proper 
Royroyan by the King's appointment and it is his business 
alone to collect the general Revenues of the country from the 
different Naibs, Fouzdars, etc. Roydulub is Nizamut Dewan 
and his business is to collect the rents of the Nazim's Jaghire 
and to have charge of the Disbursements of the Subahdarry. 
These two departments of the Government have their distinct 
Offices and Registers ; and are independent of one another ; 
they cannot be changed or blended without changing the 
Regulations by which the Country hath been heretofore 
governed, and if once we begin to make alterations in the Form 
of Government We may as well new mode> it entirely. . . . 

\Conclmion of above Minute. 1 

. . . Had it been the Company's intention to interfere in 
the Government of the Nabob's country, they would not have 
failed to send instructions and Orders to that purpose, hitherto 
I have seen none and until such Orders arrive I shall look upon 
all Encroachments on the Nabob's Authority as Usurpations 
on our part, and protest against them. Was the Nabob him- 
self to offer them I should not agree, much less can I approve 
of their being forced upon him. 



1757 TO 1772 

No. 4. Covenants made by East India Company wiTif 

House of Commons Reports, vol. i, Appendix i, p. 181. 

The following series of covenants was irsiled by the East 
India Company^ to its servants for signature, between 1756 
and 1772 : 

To Writers : — 

1st Covenants issued in 1756, in use till July 1770. 

2nd Covenants issued May 1764, in />e till July 1772. 

3rd Covenants issued July 1770, invse till July 1772. 
Military Officers' Covenants issued May 1764 to July 1770. 

The following extract is from the first Writers' Covenants of 
1756, commonly called ' the New Covenants ' : 

' A. B. . . . will not directly or indirectly take, accept or 
receive or agree to take, accept or receive any Gift, Reward, 
Gratuity, Allowance, Compensation, Sum or Sums of Money 
whatsoever from any Persons or Person, of whom he, the said 
A. B. shall by himself or any agent for him, buy or barter any 
Goods, Merchandize, Treasure or Effects for or upon account 
of the said Company [or from those to whom he sells]. . . . 
And upon condition that the said A. B. shall in all things per- 
form his Covenants and Agreements with the said Company 
and to encourage l^im so to do, It is further covenanted and 
agreed by and between the said Parties to these Presents, 
that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said A. B. and 
the Company doth accordingly license the said A. B. during 
the said 5 years, Commencing as aforesaid, freely to trade and 
trafiick for his own account only, from Port to Port in India, 
or elsewhere, within the Limits aforesaid, [i. e. between the 
Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan] but not to or 
from any Place without the same, [further that servants 
having injured Natives may be judged and punished by the 

And the said A. B. doth . . . agree that he . . . will not carry 
on . . . Trade either from Europe to the East Indies or to any 
Place within the said Company's limits ... or from the East 
Indies etc. to Europe . . . nor shall carry on, use or be con- 
cerned in any Trade or Traffick whatsoever but such as is 
expressly allowed ... by the true Intent and Meaning of these 



The second Writers' Covenant was shorter and comple- 
iftentary to the above, and provided against the acceptance of 
nuzzerana by the following clauses : 

' . . . [that he will not] take . . . any Gift or Grant of Lands, 
or Rents or Revenues issuing out of Lands, or any Territorial 
Possession, Juri^iction, Dominion, Power or Authority what- 
soever from any oAhe Indian PrJftces, Sovereigns, Soubahs or 
Nabobs or any of their Ministers, Servants or Agents . . .with- 
out the License and Consent of the Court of Directors . . . nor 
shall accept, take or receive any Gift etc. ... in Money, Effects, 
Jewels or otherwise howsoever . . . exceeding the value of 
4000 Rupees without Ike License of the Court of Directors . . . 
nor any such Reward Sc. exceeding the value of 1000 Rupees 
without the License of the President and Council and that he 
shall and will convey, assign and make over to the said United 
Company . . . every such Gifts or Grants of Lands etc. ; and 
also account for and pay to the said United Company ... all 
and every such Gifts or Grants of Lands etc' 

The third Writers' Covenant was similar to the first, but 
with this important addition : 

' [A. B.] in case of default in any of the Covenants or being 
concerned in buying war material etc. for Country Powers, or 
corresponding with them or arranging loans for them may be 
dismissed and punished and must return to Europe.' 

[There is in this Covenant no allusion to the nuzzerana, so 
that the second Covenant would appear ^to have been used 
supplementarily and as a complement to the first and third. 
Thus from 1756 to 1764 only the first would be in use ; from 
1764 to 1770 the first and second ; and from 1770 to 1772 the 
second and third only, the third superseding tlie first. Beyond 
that date the evidence does not go, as the House of Commons 
inquiry was held in that year.] 

No. 5. Trade Abuses in 1765. 

/. 0. Records, Range A. 7, p. 10. 

Letter from Mohamed Rem Khan sent to the Secret Committee 

at Calcuttu. 

February 19, 1765. 

The Zemindars of the Pergunnah Radshay Recoumpoor and 
other Districts in the Soubah of Bengal complain that the 
Factories of English Gentlemen in the Pergunnahs are many 




1757 TO 1772 

and their Gomastahs are in all places and in every Village 
almost throughout the Province of Bengal ; That they tradti 
in Linnen, Chunam, Mustardseed, Tobacco, Turmerick, Oil, 
Rice, Hemp, Gunnies, Wheat, in short in all Kinds of Grain, 
Linnen and whatever other Commodities are produced in the 
Country ; That in order to purchase these Articles, they force 
their Money on the ryots, ^,nd having b^^ these oppressive 
means bought ,their goods at a low Rate, they oblige the 
Inhabitants and Shopkeepers to take them at an high price, 
exceeding what is paid in the Markets ; That they do not pay 
the Customs due to the Sircar, but are guilty of all manner of 
seditious and injurious acts, for InstanoT. when at any time the 
Malguzarree is demanded of the Taalucf/ars, Roys etc. subjects 
of the Sircar, the aforesaid Gomastahs under pretence of debts 
due, or accounts to be settled do not let them go, or suffer the 
Revenues to be taken from them, and upon complaints and at 
the Instance of lying informers and base men, they place their 
Peons over the Ryotts and involve them in a variety of 
troubles, that by pressing people violently into their service 
and imposing many and divers commands on the Officers of 
the Government, the Inhabitants, the Tradesmen and others 
they ruin everybody and reduce the villages and Gunges to 
a state of desolation. It is by these iniquitous Practices that 
the people of the Country have been ruined and driven to 
flight and that the Revenues of the Sircar have been injured ; 
there is now scarce anything of worth left in the country. 

Resolution of the Secret Committee taken in consequence^ 
on the same date. 

Agreed : tha't v/e recommend to the Board to prohibit under 
the severest penalties all the Company's servants, whether 
residing at the Presidency, the Subordinates or the Aurungs 
from yielding countenance shelter or protection to any of their 
Gomastahs, who shall presume to interfere directly or indi- 
rectly with the affairs of Government or upon any pretence 
whatever, give impediment or Obstruction to the Officers of 
the Revenue in levying the Collections of the several Districts 
committed to their Charge. And that in all matters of Dis- 
pute or difference, whereby the Revenue can possibly be 
affected, these Gomastahs or their constituents shall apply to 
the Government for redress or in case of refusal to the Resident 
at the Durbar, the Chiefs of Subordinates, who shall make 
application through the regular channel, the Governor and 
Council or the Select Committee. 

^ Letter from Mohamed Reza Khan, received October 4, 1765. 

/. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 657, 

There are many persons who with pretence of debts being 
due to them, making use of the name of the Factory disturb 
the Zemindaries and Districts oPthe Chuckla of Jehangheer- 
nuggur and sending Peons to seize People obstruct the Re- 
venues of the Sircar. The particulars are very long, but 
I briefly mentioned the matter to you ^ at Mootagyl.^ More- 
over several evasive Zemindars and Taaluckdars borrow more 
or less from the Dep«dents of the Factory and when their 
Rents are demanded irom them go and shelter themselves 
under their protection, so as to be out of the power of the 
Aumils — With the pretence of debts being due to them they 
carry their creditors into their districts and embezzle the 
revenues so that the money of the Sircar remains unpaid and 
spreading about reports that numbers of the Villages are 
rented to Dependents of the Factory, they practise villanous 
tricks. I accordingly receive from the Aumils frequent com- 
plaints of these proceedings. As I do not conceive that the 
interruptions of the revenue of the Sircar can be put a stop to 
without removing these pretences, I hope you will be kind 
enough to write to the Gentlemen of the Factories of Jehangheer- 
nuggur and Luckypore etc. that none of the dependents of the 
factory must lend money to the Zemindars etc. without the 
knowledge of the Aumil, nor hold any farm nor interfere in the 
affairs of the country nor send any people into the districts 
and make a disturbance, and that whatsoever demands they 
have upon the Zemindars etc. they must lay the amount 
thereof before Jessarut Cawn, the Naib at JeRangheer-nuggur, 
that he may oblige the people to pay whatsoever is just. 

/. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 652, &c. 

[The Select Committee at once took action and issued the 
following orders :] 

October 5, 1765. 

. . . servants, civil and military, not to interfere directly or 
indirectly with the business of the Government on pain of 

1 These letters were addressed in the first instance to F. Sykes, the 
Resident at the Durbar, and by him forwarded to the Secret Committee. 

2 A garden-palace at Murshidabad, 

78 1757 TO 1772 

Observing that our orders to the Chiefs of the Subordinates 
to send lists to the Committee of all Europeans residing withJh * 
their several districts who are not in the Company's service, 
have been neglected, 

Resolved that we repeat the above Orders, requiring them 
positively not only to send the most accurate lists in their 
power, but the persons th|mselves to CsfScutta by the 2ist 
inst. at which ^.ime the Company's protection will absolutely 
cease and they must stand to all the consequences of being left 
entirely in the power of the Country Government. 

/. O, Records, Range A. 6^p, 706. 

[The next letter of importance is from Francis Sykes on 
the subject of the custom-houses. It presents a similar 
picture of the confusion caused by English excesses.] 

November 5, 1765. 

The duties arising from the Pachautrah Office at Muxadavad 
only a few years ago, amounted to R. 3,84,000; I find there is 
now existing scarcely anything more than the name, I have 
accordingly got Mohamed Reza Cawn to appoint a person of 
integrity and assiduity to inspect into the Drogahs' proceed- 
ings and keep an exact account of the Duties arising to the 
Government as it has been for many years established ; the 
like regulations I have desired might take place in the Tanksall 
[mint] where abuses appear equally as great. I find it will 
be absolutely necefssary some regulations should be fixed on 
for the government of the Chokeys, all over the country, for 
which purpose I have got Mohamed Reza Cawn to write to 
the Phousdars and Zemindars of the different Provinces for 
an exact account of all the Chokeys now kept up, that proper 
arrangements may be made and a few considerable ones estab- 
lished in the most convenient parts of the country which will 
answer the purpose much more effectually than the superfluous 
number that do now exist, which have in some degree only 
served to subvert the true intent for which they were ordered, 
and throwing a number of difficulties in the way of trade in 

Fraud and villany appears to have been carried to so great 
a height in every Department that I am no longer surprised 
that the Nabobs of late have been so much distressed in their 
Government, a total change by degrees must be made, and it 
can only be by degrees brought about, without great distur- 
bance and murmuring all over the Country. I am exerting 



jny utmost endeavour for that purpose but have to struggle 
with every difficulty that can be thrown in my way by Minis- 
ters, Mutseddies, Congoes [i. e. Kanongoes] etc. and their 
dependents, yet with a proper support from you, I make not 
the least doubt in time but I shall accomplish your most 
sanguine expectations. 

Second letter from F. Sykes. 
I. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 723. 

November 22, 1765. % 

I most heartily wish some method could be taken to prevent 
the gentlemen, civil as well as military, from sending for the 
different officers of the Government on every frivolous pre- 
tence by which the Collections are greatly impeded, and owing 
to the distance such circumstances happen from me I find it 
a most difficult matter to be a proper judge whether they are 
acting in virtue of their station or in open violence to your 

The expences of Moreas, Pikes, Servants, Burgundasses, 
Roads, Charity with other contingent articles attending the 
Collections amounting to R. 10,24,129:7: 17 are large and 
enormous, notwithstanding I have retrenched them above one 
half, yet I cannot with any propriety attempt to reduce them 
lower this year, particularly as the Ministers declare they are 
not only reasonable but indispensably necessary, however as 
I get a greater insight into the nature of these charges, and the 
Collections in general I shall be better able to judge what are 
superfluous and what are not so. 

Third letter from F. Sykes. 
1,0. Records, Range A. 6, p. 747. 

November 29, 1765. 

I have with the assistance of the Ministers made an arrange- 
ment of the Chokeys necessary to be kept up and supported 
for the collecting of the proper Duties and Customs arising 
from the Trade and Merchandize of the Country. We have 
fixed upon 24. . . . Omsid Ally Cawn is appointed Pachowtrah 
Drogah and the head of this office, he as well as the Ministers 
demand 8 to 10 Seapoys at every principal Chokey ... (I think 
it absolutely necessary). . . , The Chokeys belonging to the 
Phousdars which have so long been a disgrace to the Govern- 


1757 TO 1772 

ment are entirely abolished and only some of the most neces- 
sary ones belonging to the Zemindars will for the future be 
kept up for the Land Collections. 

Trade Regulations. 
/. O. Records, Range^. 7 (pages not numbered). 

[In response to F. Sykes's appeal of November 22, Regula- 
tions were issued by the Secret Committee in the following 
form. The passages bracketed are taken from Sykes's draft 
and have been omitted or modified in the Secret Committee's 
official version.] ^ 

November 29, 1767. 

Regulations circulated by the Ministers to the Zemindars 
and Officers of Government. 

1st. That they are to suffer no Gomastahs whatever to 
reside in the Districts within their Jurisdiction but such as are 
empowered by having Perwannahs under the Seal of the 
Nizam, the Company or the Governor. 

2nd. That no Gomastahs are to buy or sell but such Arti- 
cles as are specified in their Perwannahs, and these with the 
Consent and Freewill of the Ryotts, and by no means to use 
Force or Compulsion in the Prosecution of their Business, that 
in case any Gomastah do buy or sell of such Articles as are not 
specified in their Perwannahs, or do collect Grain or other 
Necessaries of Life to sell again on the Spot or anyways oppress 
or illuse the Ryotts, the Officers of the Government are 
required to exert their Authority to suppress such Abuses, and 
in case of any Disobedience or Non-compliance on the Part of 
the Gomastahs, they are to represent the same to the Minis- 
ters, who will cause exemplary Punishment to be inflicted. 

3rd. That the Trade in Salt, Betelnut and Tobacco is in 
future to be carried on by such Merchants only as are Natives 
of the Country, and as a stated Duty will be collected on those 
Articles before a Rowana is given for their Proceeding from 
the Place of Purchase, no farther Collections, whether of 
Mongen, or other Customs, are to be made thereon in order 
that from the Sale of the Merchants goods to the Consumption 
of the Poor there may be no Cause of Enhancement in the 
Price. Also that several Merchants have bought large 
Quantities of Salt from the Committee of Trade, it is proper 
that none do impede them in the Disposal thereof or make any 
Demands for Duties either from Buyer or Seller. 

4th. That the (English) French, Dutch and other Foreigners 


are by the Nizam forbidden to traffic (in Salt, Betelnut or 
Tobacco, Grain or other Articles which are the Consumption 
of this Country, that the licensed Trade of the French and 
Dutch Companies is in Cloths of Cotton or Silk and such other 
Goods as are carried in Ships for Europe) in Salt, Betelnut and 
Tobacco. They»a|^e also forbidden to trade in Grain and other 
Articles essential for the immediaxe Necessaries of Life, except 
for the Consumption of the Inhabitants residing in their Settle- 
ments under their Protection. The Intentions of the Nizamut 
respecting the licensed Trade of the English, French and 
Dutch Companies are^elative only to Cotton, Silk and such 
other Goods as are el^)orted from this Country to Foreign 
Parts. That whenever any Gomastah, taking the Name of the 
(English) French, Dutch etc. do carry on Trade in unlicensed 
Articles it is the Duty of the Officers of the Government to 
seize and send them to the City, but that whilst their People 
carry on such Business only as is allowed of, and has of old 
been customary, behaving themselves peaceably and quietly 
and without Oppression towards the Ryotts their Commerce is 
to be supported and no impediment thrown in their way. 

5th. That as the Freedom and Circulation of Trade is the 
means of giving Bread to the industrious Inhabitants, Manu- 
factories of Cloth and Silk the Employment of the Poor, and 
the Sale of their Grain and the Product of their Lands enables 
the Ryotts to pay their Rents and support their Families — it 
is proper that the Officers of the Government do afford every 
necessary Encouragement and Protection as well to the Mer- 
chants and Traders of the Country as to such Gomastahs who 
are furnished with Perwannahs (under the above Restrictions) 
to carry on their Trade with the Consent an^ Freewill of the 
Ryotts, and that whosoever of the Aumils and Zemindars is 
found deficient herein they will be made answer themselves 
for it in the severest Manner. 

(6th. That no European Nations shall be permitted to 
establish New Factories or any European to go into the Coun- 
try and carry on a Traffic without the express permission of 
the Government under Pain of Confiscation of all such Goods 
as he may be then trafficking.) 

7th. That it being the Desire of the Nazim and the English 
Company to prefer before all things the Good Order and well- 
governing of these Provinces, these Regulations are estab- 
lished in order that the Poor may be relieved from Oppression 
and Vexation and the Merchants enabled to carry on their 
Trade with Freedom which are the means of Wealth to this 
Country and Benefit to its Inhabitants — It is therefore 

1526.9 ^ 


82 1757 TO 1772 

required that the strictest Obedience be paid to this Per; 
wannah, and that it be registered in the Public Cutcherry and 
Circulated to all the lesser (Zemindars and) Aumils, that when- 
ever any Disputes or Disturbances shall happen with Gomas- 
tahs or others Recourse may be had hereto and Decision given 
accordingly. ^ 

F. Sykes's conception of the office of Diwan. 
I. O. Records, Range A. 8. 

January 12, 1768. / 

I have on every Occasion been as attentive as possible to the 
Point you recommend of acknowledging the Nabob as prin- 
cipal in the Government and have always avoided interfering 
in any public Act except where the Revenues were concerned, 
in which, I conceive, that the Company as Dewan to the King 
have a Right to interpose, as also that it is extremely neces- 
sary they should for the proper Application thereof and to 
prevent the Dissipation of the public Wealth and an entire 
Misapplication from its proposed Channels. 

Trade Abuses, 1765 to 1769. 

Letter fr&m Becker^ Resident at Murshidabad in siucession 
to F, Sykes. 

I. O. Records, Range A. 9. Select Committee's Proceedings of July 8, 1769. 
May 7, 1769. 

Since . . . the Hon. Company have been in possession of the 
Dewannee the Influence that has been used in providing their 
Investment and under their Name, Goods, on private Account, 
has proved such a Monopoly, that the Chassars, Manufacturers 
etc. have been obliged to sell their Commodities at any price, 
Those employed to purchase for the English, thought proper 
to give them. They had no Choice, if any Country Merchant, 
Armenian or other attempted to purchase ; there was an 
immediate Cry that it interfered with the Company's Invest- 
ment. This plea has been made use [of] in all Quarters for 
private Emolument to the Stagnation of Trade, and the 
Oppression of the Chassars, Manufacturers etc. These latter 
finding no free vent for their Commodities, are discouraged 
from producing them and it is certain that the Quantity of 
Putney produced in the Districts hereabout decreases annually ; 
and it is certain that if the present Monopolizing System con- 


tjnues even the Company's Investment will be reduced very 
low although all other Considerations should continue to give 
way to it : so that even in that Respect it becomes good policy 
to adopt a better System : and when it is further considered 
that the Company are now the Lords of this Country and the 
Revenues flow i\it^ their Treastjjy, with me there does not 
remain a doubt, that it is for their true Interest that a Plan 
should be adopted which will leave Trade free and open, by 
which means only proper Encouragement can be given to the 
Ryotts, and Manufacturers to raise and make the Assortments 
required for the Comply. 

I well remember thi^ountry when Trade was free, and the 
flourishing State it was then in ; with Concern I now see its 
present ruinous Condition which I am convinced is greatly 
owing to the Monopoly that has been made of late years in the 
Company's Name of almost all the Manufactures in the Coun- 
try. Let the Trade be made free, and this fine Country will 
soon recover itself, the Revenues increase, and the Company 
procure as large an Investment as they can spare Money to 
purchase, and these Purchases will prove a Benefit to the 
Country instead of tending to its Ruin as they do now to 

. . . The Revenues must encrease as well by the additional 
Cultivation that will ensue, as by the Duties paid to the 
Government by the Natives, Armenians, etc. who will then be 
able to purchase Goods at the first Hand, which Liberty they 
have been deprived of for some years, which has occasioned 
a Decrease in the Collection of Duties on Goods under the 
pocholtra ^ of Muxadavad only, of three Lacks of Rupees at 
least p. a. In former Times they collected bgtween 4 and 5/. 
a year : the poor man who rented that Office last year at 2/. 
has been obliged to sell his house and goods to make payment 
of 1,70,000 ; the other 30,000 is a Loss on the estimated 
Revenue of the Year. 

Minute by Verelst on Trade Abuses. 
I. 0. Records, Range A. 9 [unpaged], third page of Minute. 

August II, 1769. 

Another object . . . should be to trace the Articles of Mer- 
chandize upwards from the Hands of the Cultivator or Manu- 
facturer through the several Classes of Purchasers. 

The Price charged to the Merchants by their Agents is easily 

^ Pachautrah Drogah >=: Customs ofi&cial. 
G 2 


H 1757 TO 1772 

known, but it is a much harder Task to fix what the Manu- 
facturer receives for the Labour of his Hands ; for upon him 
the Oppression seems to fall the heaviest, and in his condition 
it is that the Evil exists in its full force and violence. 

When we consider that the prices of all sorts of Merchandize 
have been considerably ad"j^anced within ^^hese 20 years and 
that the Quali1;y of the Manufactures is worse and the Quan- 
tity diminished ; that public duties are decreased, and that 
the necessaries of life are as cheap to the Cultivator and Manu* 
facturer now as they were formerly — ^from what causes are we 
to derive the great Discouragement to which the Trade of 
these Provinces is subject . . . ? The p^,rnicious Cause . . . will 
I believe be found in the undue Influence, which has been in 
general exerted by the Agents of Europeans, who joining the 
power which they borrowed from their Masters' Names and 
Ascendency to their native proneness to oppress, became 
Tyrants instead of Merchants ; imposing Goods upon the 
Ryotts at an arbitrary Rate, compelling them to part with 
their Labour at an under Price and spreading the baneful 
Effects of Monopoly and Extortion on every Side of them. . . . 

. . . Evils unknown to us before. These will be found under 
the Heads of Nuzzerannees, Brokerage, Discount on Rupees, 
Interest on Advances for Cultivation and Manufactures, and 
Fines for Non-Compliance with Terms of Contract, all of 
which are deducted after an apparent and nominal Rate of 
Market Price has been previously affixed to the Goods. These 
could not well take place without engaging a Multitude of 
Accomplices ; as the Agent lays Taxes on the Broker, the 
Broker levies them from the Cultivator, or Manufacturer : 
and their respective Dependents never fail partaking in the 
Spoil. Even here the Oppression does not cease, since by 
artfully engaging them in Advance, they are made a prey to 
their greedy Creditors, encreasing Poverty weighs them down, 
Debts and corporal punishments silence their Murmurs. . . . 

. . . The Improvements which have been effected in Burd- 
wan. . . . When I first entered on the Charge, the Farmer had 
no expectation of retaining his Lands beyond the short space 
of 3 years, and of course ransacked the Country to avail him- 
self of so transient a possession. The Result of this Insecurity 
and temporary Interest was that I found the greatest part of 
the Country racked, and considerable Tracts wholly depopu- 
lated. I laid a Foundation for destroying so prejudicial 
a Spirit by proposing instead of short Leases for three Years 
only Grants for longer Terms or rather for Perpetuities. 


Greater Prospects still were opened to the Ryotts by my 
letting the Lands at a low, gradually encreasing Rent, for 
4 or 5 Years and promising a Preference and Extension of 
Leases at the Time of Renewal. By the Attention of my 
Successors the System has produced the most salutary Effects. 
The Province of Burdwan exhibits the Face of a Garden, 
whilst the more futile Provincerjof Bengal are declining. 



[The following documents are from the correspondence of 
the Secret Committecj^t Calcutta, and include a letter from 
the Resident, the insfl^ictions issued to the Supervisors, and 
a Resolution defining their powers.] 

/. O. Records, Range A. 9 ; Consultations of July 8, 1769. 

Letter from Becker ^ Resident at Murshidahad, 

May 24, 1769. 

It must give pain to an Englishman to have Reason to think 
that since the accession of the Company to the Dewannee the 
condition of the people of this Country has been worse than it 
was before ; and yet I am afraid the Fact is undoubted, and 
I believe has proceeded from the following causes — the Mode/ 
of providing the Company's Investment, the Export of Specie % 
instead of importing large Sums annually; the Strictness that ij, 
has been observed in the Collections ; the Endeavour of all 
concerned to gain Credit by an Increase of Revenue during the 
Time of their being in Station without sufficiently attending to 
what future Consequences might be expected from such a Mea- 
sure ; the Errors that subsist in the Manner of making theS" 
Collections, particularly by the Employment «f Aumils : these 
appear to me the principal Causes why this fine Country which 
flourished under the most despotic and arbitrary Government, 
is verging towards its Ruin while the English have really so 
great a share in the Administration. . . . 

In Ali Verdi Cawn's Time the amount of the Revenue paid 
into the Treasury, was much less than what comes in at pre- 
sent, but then the Zemindars, Shroffs, Merchants etc. were 
rich, and would at any Time when an Emergency required it 
supply the Nabob with a large Sum, which they frequently did, 
particularly when he was at war with the Marattoes. The 
Custom then was to settle a Malguzarry with the different 
Zemindars on moderate terms : the Nabob abided by his 
Agreement ; the Zemindars had a natural Interest in their 
Districts, and gave proper encouragement to the Ryotts, when 


1757 TO 1772 

necessary would wait for their Rents, and borrow Money to 
pay their own Malguzarry punctually. There were in a^.i 
Districts Shroffs ready to lend Money to the Zemindars when 
required, and even to the Ryotts which enabled many to 
cultivate their Grounds, which otherwise they could not have 
done. This Mode of Collection and a free Trade which was 
carried on in such a Manne|t that the Balk'nce proved greatly 
in its favour, made this Country flourish even under an arbi- 
trary Government, and at a Time when a large Tract of it was 
annually invaded by the Marattoes, who burnt and destroyed 
all they could come at, the poor Inhabitants flying for shelter 
to the principal Cities, European Facy 'ys etc. The Swelling 
of the Rivers at the Approach of the RAins always obliged the 
Marattoes to retire and the Inhabitants were again secure till 
January. They having Encouragement set immediately to 
work, and endeavoured to get their crops in, and sent to 
Market before the Time returned for the apprehended Inva- 
sion : insomuch that even under such Circumstances the 
Country was in a flourishing State and the Zemindars etc. 
able to pay the Nabob his Requisition (Account his extraordi- 
nary Expence in keeping so large an Army to oppose the Marat- 
toes) ^ the enormous sum of one Crore at one time, and 50 lacks 
at another, besides paying the Malguzarry. I mention this 
only with a view of showing what this fine Country is capable 
of under proper Management. When the English received the 
Grant of the Dewannee their first Consideration seems to have 
been the raising of as large Sums from the Country as could 
be collected, to answer the pressing demands from home and 
to defray the large Expences here. The Zemindars not being 
willing or able to pay the Sums required, Aumils have been 
sent into most q{ the Districts. These Aumils on their Ap- 
pointment agree with the Ministers to pay a fixed sum for the 
Districts they are to go to, and the man that has offered most 
has generally been preferred. What a destructive system is 
this for the poor Inhabitants ! the Aumils have no Connexion 
or natural Interest in the Welfare of the Country where they 
make the Collections, nor have they any Certainty of holding 
their Places beyond the Year : the best Recommendation 
they can have is to pay up their Kistbundees punctually, to 
which purpose they fail not to rack the Country whenever they 
find they cant otherwise pay their Kists and secure a hand- 
some sum for themselves. Uncertain in their Office, and 
without Opportunity of acquiring Money after their Dismis- 
sion, can it be doubted that the future Welfare of the Country 
■-' * i. e. ' his requisition on account of 


is not an Object with them ? nor is it to be expected in Human 
Mature. These Aumils also have had no Check upon them 
during the Time of their Employment ; they appoint those 
that act under them ; so that during the Time of the Year's 
Collection their power is absolute. There is no fixed Husta- 
bood by which they are to collect, nor any likelihood of Com- 
plaints till the pciDr Ryott is r^lly drove to Necessity by 
having more demanded of him than he cai] possibly pay. 
Much these poor Wretches will bear rather than quit their 
Habitations to come here to complain, especially when it is to 
be considered that it must always be attended with loss of 
Time, risk of obtainin ^Redress, and a certainty of being very 
ill-used should the Auwiil's influence be sufficient to prevent 
the poor Man's obtaining Justice or even Access to those able 
to grant it to him. On this destructive Plan with a continual 
Demand for more Revenues have the Collections been made 
ever since the English have been in possession of the De- 
wannee. . . . 

. . . Whenever the Court of Directors shall think proper 
to avow the Management of the Revenues I think it cannot 
admit of Doubt, that the Plan to be pursued throughout the 
whole Country should be the same as is now practised at 
Burdwan ; vizt. letting the Lands out to farm for at least 
3 years with an assurance that those who behave well, and 
give proper Encouragement to their Ryotts, should always 
have the preference in remaining Farmers of those Lands, 
when their Leases expired. This Method and English Gen- 
tlemen appointed to superintend the Collections, and adminis- 
tration of Justice has occasioned the province of Burdwan to 
flourish, when the Countrys adjacent to it under the Govern- 
ment of the Ministers are in a very declining S^iate. . . . Other 
necessary Steps to be taken are to have as great a Check on the 
Collectors as you possibly can, and to endeavour to fix the 
Rate of Collections in such a Manner, that the Ryott may 
know as early as possible in the Season what the Collector has 
a right to demand of him, and no further demand should be 
made on any Account whatever. The present destructive 
Scheme of adding Demand on Demand under the name of 
Matute, has been a material cause of the present distressed 
State of the Country and I wish the word could be abolished 
and never heard of more. 

[For Becher's opinion of the plan of Supervisors, drawn up 
in response to this appeal, the Consultations of the Secret 
Committee of September 25, 1769, should be consulted. He 
considers it a good plan, but holds that it ought to be deferred 

8§ 1757 TO 1772 

till the close of that year's Collections and that Supervisoi's 
must have power to control the Collections. He asks : — "] 

Where are they to get their intelligence ? Must it not be from 
the Aumils, Mohores, etc., employed in the Collections ? must 
they not have Inspection of their Accounts ? is this to be done 
without interfering and giving those employed a Pretence to 
withhold what they have engaged to pay } ti 

[Further reaspns for delay appear in the Consultations of 
October 12.] 

Orders to the Supervisors. 

[These were issued on August 16, ; they are too long for 
insertion, but the following summary Veems indispensable.] 

/. O. Records, Range A. 9 ; Secret Committee Consultation. 
August 16, 1769. 
Resolved : 

That in every province or district a Gentleman in the 
Service be appointed, whose Office is to be subordinate to the 
Resident of the Durbar and managed as is expressly set forth 
... in the following Letter of Instructions : — 

. . . the Services expected from you in your department 
[are] — 

1st ... A Summary History of the Province etc. . . ., from 
the Time of Sujah Cawn.^ 

2nd . . . The State, Produce and Capacity of the Lands. . . . 

3rd . . . The Amount of Revenues, the Cesses or Arbitrary 
Taxes etc. . . . 

4th . . . The Regulation of Commerce ... an Estimate of 
the productions of every District, Amount of Manufactures, 
Number of Manyfacturers employed in each Branch, annual 
Duties collected on them. Rise and Fall in Demand etc, ... to 
lay open and abolish the several Species of Imposition. 

5th . . . The Administration of Justice ... to enforce Justice 
where the Law demands it, checking every Composition by 
Fine or Mulct, where any disputes arise in matters of property 
you should recommend the method of Arbitration. [Records 
and Pottahs to be registered in the principal Cutcherry and 
a copy deposited at Muxadavad.] 

Versed as you are in the language, depend on none where you 
yourself can possibly hear and determine. Let access to you 
be easy, and be careful of the conduct of your dependents. 
Aim at no undue Influence yourself and check it in all others. 

* Probably Shu ja-ud-Din is intended, Nawab of Bengal 1 726-1 740. He 
held Bahar also from 1735. 



/. O. Records, Range A. 9. 

[A further important Resolution was passed in December 
to clear up points of difficulty that had already arisen.] 

December 15, 1769. 
Resolved : » ^ 

That the Supervisors shall ?or the present have as little 
to do with the Collections as possible ; in order that they may 
not be encumbered in the important Researches they will be 
directed to make ; but in order to give their Authority its 
necessary weight and to prevent the Aumils or Zemindars 
from counteracting meir measures, the Supervisors should 
have a Controuling though not an immediate, active power 
over the Collections ; or in other words the Aumils, Zemindars 
or other Officers superintending them should be ordered to 
consult and mutually act on every occasion with, and report 
all Transactions to the Supervisors ; and in case that points of 
difference should arise, the Supervisor must have a negative 
Voice until he can report his reasons for such negative to the 
Resident at the Durbar, and receive from him the orders of 
the Ministry on the occasion. — ^The Supervisors should also 
have the same negative Voice in all judicial Proceedings. In 
every Zemindary or hereditary Possession all proceedings 
whatever should be transacted in the name of such Zemindar, 
as in Burdwan. In every Phouzdary where Aumils are em- 
ployed although the Supervisors have the controuling power,, 
yet all Proceedings relating to the Revenue are to pass in their 
joint names — but in every judicial Transaction must pass in 
the name of the Phouzdar, Aumil or in that of the Ministry. 
... to restrict the Supervisors from the general benefit of 
Trade, so long as it does not rise to the one [?. e. to a monopoly] 
or counteract the other [i. e. Commerce], is not the Intention 
of this Committee — but [they are] enjoined to avoid all appear- 
ance of Pomp and Parade whatsoever. 

[The names of the Supervisors first appointed, which are to 
be found in the Consultations of April 28, 1770.] 

/. O. Records, Range A. 10. 

April 28, 1770. 
Mr. Rider. 

„ Rous. 

„ Harwood. 

Mr. Alexander. 
„ Kelsall. 
,, C. Stuart. 
„ Wilmot. 

Mr. Grose. 
,, G. Vansittart. 
,, Graham. 
„ Becher, Resident. 

1757 TO 1772 

Effect of the Supervisor ship. Reports of the Resident, * 
/. O. Records, Range A. 10, p. 348, &c. 

June 9, 1770. 

, . . Certain it is that the Zemindars, Ay.nTils and Farmers 
appear unwilling to enter into any Engagements for the 
Revenues of th^e approaching Season unless they can be 
assured of being supported in their Authority in the province 
and suffered to make their Collections without Interruptions 
from the Supervisors or their People-T-^s certain it is, that 
they do complain of having met with (;hterruptions lately — 
their credit is entirely stopped. ... No Shroff or Merchant 
will advance a Rupee till they know whether the People to 
whom they advance their Money are to be invested with 
Authority to collect their own Revenues or not. . . . 

... I now could wish, that the Supervisors having the 
Management of the Revenues might be delayed till next Year. 
. . . the Point with me, is to judge whether Young Gentle- 
men, with little Experience themselves, attended by Black 
Dependents, and Banians chiefly from Calcutta, and of course 
unacquainted in the Affairs of the Collection are capable to 
manage the Revenues ? 

June 21, 1770. 

... On the Footing you have directed the Supervisors to 
remain, the Business of the Collections cannot proceed. . . . 
Business is at a stand whilst the Season is advancing and the 
Revenue in a v^;'y precarious State. [He had proposed 
Settlements which were agreed to on condition of non-inter- 
ference : had empowered experienced men, G. Vansittart, 
Stuart, Ducarel, and Graham, to make the settlements them- 
selves. All this had been quashed by the Council's letter of 
June 9.] 

Farmers on long leases or that have reasonable Expecta- 
tions of retaining their Farms will for their own sakes be 
induced to use their Ryotts well, to encourage Cultivation and 
to pay their Kists punctually to Government. Proceeding by 
degrees everything may be accomplished to our Wish. By 
attempting the Whole at once we may sustain a great Loss 
and probably prejudice the whole Supervising Plan by part of 
it being ill-conducted for want of Experience and Knowledge 
of the Business ... it remains with you to set this great 



Machine in Motion, on your present Plan it will not go ; you 
•must either proceed further and have the Supervisors to make 
the Settlements in the different Districts or you must recede 
in part for the present. 

[The result was that the Secret Committee acquiesced and 
withdrew the supervisors' powers ; but an altercation arose 
between it and' tlie Council, anj the latter created Revenue 
Councils at Murshidabad and Patna.] 

No. 7. Reports of the Famine of 1770. 

Report from Mohamed Ali Khan, Faujdar of Purnea^ to 
Mr. Becker^ Resident at Murshidabad, 

I. O. Records, Ra.nge A. 10, p. 19$. 

April 28, 1770. 

Purnea, which was once a plentiful Country, retains now 
nothing but the Name of its former Abundance — I have so 
often expatiated to you on the distressful Condition of this 
District, that I am ashamed to repeat my Representations ; 
nor can the full Extent of our Misery possibly gain credit with 
you untill someone in whom you can confide is sent from the 
City to be an eyewitness of it. 

The Distress of the Poor is now beyond Description, hardly 
a day passes over without 30 or 40 people dying. . . . 

From the Drought of the Season such Misery is occasioned 
that Multitudes have and continue to perish of Hunger — 
Intent on the Prosperity of the Country I have not been want- 
ing in my Endeavours to preserve the n^essary Grain for 
Seed — but the Ryotts of many Villages for want of Rain have 
been reduced to the necessity of selling their Grain for Seed, 
and their Cattle and Utensils in order to support themselves ; 
insomuch that they even offer their Children for Sale, but none 
can be found to buy them. 

Report from Ujagger Mull, Amil of Jessore, 

What can I write of Dearness and Scarcity ? Mankind are 
employed in bringing the Leaves of Trees from the Jungles for 
Food, and they offer their Sons and Daughters to Sale — 
Many of the Ryotts are daily running away and vain are 
all my endeavours to restrain them. 

92 1757 TO 1772 

Report of Mr. Ducarel to Mr. Becker. « 
/. O. Records, Range A. 10, p. 199. 

April 28, 1770. 
February 16, 1770. 

I am sorry to inform you that the SitujJtion of Misery in 
which I have found Purnea iS not less striking than that of the 
Pergunnahs — 'The first Object I have had to attend to was 
to guard against the Horrors of Pestilence being added to those 
of Famine ; by providing for the removal of the Number of 
Dead Bodies, which were laying [sic] iiv,different Parts of the 
Town, and with which the Air was in('/;cted to a very great 
Degree — the Report of the Number that has been buried for 
these three days past exceeds one Thousand. . . . 

I do not believe I should exaggerate in saying that half 
the Ryotts were dead . . . from what I have seen I should judge 
the Number to be rather more than less. 




Hzistings as Resident — Mir Kasim's government— Trade disputes and war 
— Hastings returns and gives evidence before the House of Commons — 
Appointed to Madras — Governor of Bengal — Scope of his task. 

What had been ha^ening to Hastings during these critical 
years, and what part had he played ? 

In January 1757 the Company's servants were gathered in 
Calcutta. William Watts, Hastings's chief before the disaster, 
was now on the Council Board, but on February 14, 1757, that 
body announced the conclusion of peace and at once appointed 
the following servants to resume occupation of the up-country 
factories, which it decided not to garrison. 

Mr. Harry Smith was appointed to Luckipore. 

Messrs. Sumner and Waller were appointed to Dacca. ~ 

Messrs. Boddam and Playdell were appointed to Ballasore. 

Messrs. W. Watts, W. Hastings, M. Collet, and F. Sykes 
were appointed to Kasimbazar. 
. W. Watts was sent to negotiate the execution of the treaty 
of peace with Siraj-ud-Daula, and was only given the rank of 
chief at Kasimbazar to add to his importa»ce in native eyes ; 
Hastings, as export ware-housekeeper, was the acting chief.^ 
On March 9, 1757, Watts reported his arrival, but there is no 
entry in the books of the factory until August 24, 1757. 
During this interval Clive, acting on the reports of Watts and 
Luke Scrafton,^ who was at Murshidabad to receive the pay- 
ments required of the Nawab, had attacked the French, and 
the campaign of Plassey resulted in May. During the summer 
Mir Jafar was established, and on October 2 Watts was 
recalled to Calcutta. He therefore made over the formal 

1 Bengal Public Consultations, Range I. 29, pp. 34-62. 
* Factory Records : Kasimbazar, Range 30. 12, p. 23 (see end of volume) ; 
Orme MSS. India, vol. xvi, p. i. 


charge of the factory to Warren Hastings, and although con-^ 
tinuing nominal chief was employed henceforth in negotiations 
between the two lords of the Dual Government. Scrafton 
remained at the durbar till August 12, 1758, when Hastings 
succeeded him as Resident, with Clive's recommendation to 
the Nawab.^ In his new plot Hastings had full scope not 
merely for his Commercial abilities as chief of the capital 
factory of Bengal, but also as diplomatist and statesman in 
conducting the all-important negotiations with Mir Jafar and 
Mir Kasim, through the influence of j^.iich their successive 
Governments were directed in the interests of the East India 
Company. Few young men of five-and-twenty have been 
placed in a more responsible and delicate position : it recalls 
that of the younger Pitt, Prime Minister at twenty-one. It 
was now Hastings's business to study the intricate political 
schemes of parties at Court, the working of the native adminis- 
trative bodies, and the effect upon them of the new and 
anomalous influence which the English had obtained by their 
victory. His position was merely that of an agent with no 
control over the English policy. He had to carry out the 
instructions of the President and Council, and to watch the 
effect of their measures. But it is very plain from the docu- 
ments that he formed strong views, and did not hesitate to 
express them to his superiors. He saw with anxiety the con- 
fusion that arose; he deplored the excesses of the private 
traders and the extortion practised by the native officials ; he 
entered into the difficulties which hampered the native 
Government and urged upon his superiors the need for 
strengthening its hands. And it was this sympathy with 
native difficulties that caused him to take a strong attitude on 
the most vital question of the time, that of the deposition of 
Mir Jafar in favour of Mir Kasim. This desire of Hastings's 
to purify and reform the condition of Bengal comes out very 
clearly in the successive negotiations in which he was engaged 
from 1758 to 1764. His first duty was to see that the revenues 
of Burdwan, Midnapore, and Chittagong, assigned to the Com- 

1 Factory Records: Kasimbazar, Range 30. 13, January 26, February i, 
1759 ; Gleig, vol. i, p. 5$ ; Calendar of Persian Correspondence, vol. i, 
p. 2, No. 22. 


jany in payment of the Nawab's debts, were raised in full and 
made over without deduction. 

The three districts were on the borders of the Nawab's terri- 
tory, and held by semi-independent Rajas, not by Zemindars 
of the usual typp. Burdwan and Midnapore, with Kishnagar, 
lay along the banl?of the Hugli o^fposite Calcutta ; Chittagong 
was beyond the Brahmapootra, south-east of Dacca. The 
amounts due from the former districts were forty-two lacs of 
rupees; that from Chittagong in 1759 was 3,31,529 : i : 15 
sicca rupees,^ anotheAthree lacs. 

The collection was^in the hands of native agents when 
Hastings received his appointment, but was soon after tak^n 
over by the English, who report to their employers on August 
26, 1758, ' They collect the revenues of the several places them- 
selves in discharge of the sums due by the Treaty \^ 

Arrears had accumulated under the native collectors, and 
Hastings was not such an adept at extortion as readers of 
Mill and Macaulay have been led to suppose. Clive himself 
writes to stiffen the young Resident's methods, bids him to be 
a little severe, and says, ' these people will do nothing through 
inclination. Ten sepoys now and then will greatly expedite 
payment.' He adds that nothing but fear will make the 
Mussulmans do justice to the Company's claims. Clive was 
at this time writing to the Directors urging the need for rein- 
forcements. He says, ' The Revenues assigned for discharging 
the sums to be paid by the Treaty are ccJlected with little 
interruption and there is no doubt of the performance of the 
whole if the repeatedly requested troops are sent '.^ 

The Directors, however, were slow in sending reinforce- 
ments, and Hastings realized that under the native tenure of 
the lands it would be impossible to exert sufficient pressure. 
He therefore negotiated with the Nawab and Kasim Ali the 
transfer of the districts to the English Company as a Zemin- 
dari.* It is interesting to note that during a leave of absence 
in this year Hastings was replaced at the Residency by 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 96. 

2 /. O. Records, Abstract Coast and Bay, vol. i, p. 220. 

3 I. 0. Records, Abstract Coast and Bay, vol. i, November 9, 1758. 
* Aitcheson, Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds, vol. vi, p. 47. 


Francis Sykes, afterwards prominent in the conduct of the 
Dual System, and we learn from him ^ that Hastings, * who 
spoke the language perfectly, was employed to translate the 
grant ' of Clive's jagir. 

In 1760 Henry Vansittart succeeded Clive in the Presidency, 
and as Mir Jafar expressed i^tt * it seemed Us though the soul 
had departed irom the body.* Vansittart's rule l^icked 
strength ; though upright, he was not resolute. He had been 
brought by Clive from Madras and set over the heads of 
Bengal servants, and their resentment sj.owed itself in opposi- 
tion to his measures. 

Meanwhile a serious intrigue was afoot in Murshidabad. 
Mir Jafar 's son-in-law, Kasim Ali, and RajabuUub, the 
guardian of Mir Kasim's nephews and rivals, were disputing 
the vacant post of Commander-in-Chief of the Nawab's forces, 
which would carry with it the disposal of the succession ; 
and already in Bihar and the outlying parts of Bengal the 
Nawab's vassals began to throw off his enfeebled authority. 

Mir Jafar feared his powerful and capable son-in-law, but 
Kasim's cause was strongly urged upon him by the Calcutta 
Board. Yet Vansittart, always averse to strong measures, 
hesitated to intervene openly or to assume for the Company 
the undisguised responsibility of forcing the Nawab's hand 
in a matter of internal politics. Hastings at last wrote 
forcibly to his chiefs, ' Permit me to say, whether Cossim Ali 
Cawn or Rajebulb;ib be the man, it is necessary Your Honours' 
declaration in favour of the one or the other should imme- 
diately determine this contention Thereupon Vansittart 
repaired to the capital in person, and Mir Jafar abdicated in 
favour of Mir Kasim.^ 

* House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, p. 154. 

* The following account of Vansittart is taken from a contemporary 
pamphlet, Observations on the Present State of the East India Company, by 
N. Smith, Chairman of Directors in 1784. It is in the India Office Library. 

* I have always been impressed with the highest opinion of Vansittart's 
honour, integrity and great goodness of heart. I believe he was guided in 
every action of his life, by a love of justice, moderation and benevolence, 
which were easily to be distinguished in every public and in every private 
step. He excelled in commercial knowledge ; he was not only master of 
every branch of trade throughout India, but no man was better acquainted 
with the general principles of commerce ; and though his natural abilities 



There is no doubt that Hastings, even if he had not, as 
B?irke declared, 'the ground prepared and smoothed*, cer- 
tainly advised and approved this change of ruler. The 
remarkable study of Kasim's character by Hastings (p. 68) 
shows that he ha^ formed a high idea of his ability and con- 
sidered that his failf re as Nawab iMd his violent enmity to the 
English were alike due to the unfair and provocative treat- 
ment which he received at their hands. The reason for it lay 
in the self-interested and short-sighted policy of a party in the 
Calcutta Council headed by Amyatt, the senior member, who 
had been disappointed"of the Presidency by the appoint- 
ment of Vansittart. Kasim's chief aim was to reconstitute 
the authority of the Nizamut and to check the excesses 
of the English in the provinces, but these men resented 
every measure which threatened their unrighteous gains, and 
repeatedly persuaded the Council to counteract them. In 
vain Kasim argued and expostulated and took measures of his 
own to end the dispute ; his opponents left him no course but 
complete surrender or open defiance, and the blame was theirs 
rather than his when his indignation broke out in war. 

A further stage in Hastings's career had now been reached. 
In February 1761 ^ he succeeded to a place at Vansittart's 
Council Board as Assistant under the President. Now the 
convictions which for three years had been growing within 
him could find utterance and have a direct influence on the 
policy of the Board. There was full scope fof all Hastings's 
energies in the Governor's support. Vansittart himself, up- 
right and reasonable as he was, attempted to support the new 
Nawab in his reforms, but he was opposed by the interested 
turbulence of the majority of his Councillors. Led by Amyatt 
and influenced by Ellis,^ Messrs. Hay,^ Batson,* Johnstone,^ 

fitted him for higher knowledge, yet as a politician he had little skill, for he 
was unacquainted with human nature and was irresolute, suffering himself 
to be influenced on many occasions by men whose judgement was inferior 
to his own : in his politics he grievously erred, every capital measure he 
took was imprudent to the last degree. Even Cossim, under a Clive, would 
have been subservient to our interests.* 

1 Bengal Letters received, No. 10, see date. 

2 Chief at Kasimbazar in 1759-60, and in 1761 Collector of Rents and 
Revenues. 3 William Hay, Provincial Chief atPatna 1 761, killed 1763. 

* Chief at Kasimbazar. ^ Resident at Midnapore. 

1526.9 „ 



and Major Carnac opposed every proposal likely to increase the 
Nawab's powers. They wished Ellis to be given authority io 
restrain Kasim's use of the English troops in Bihar. Hast- 
ings and others protested against such a claim, and asserted 
the Council to be the proper judge. The truth was that these 
men feared to see military it;t)wer in the ha'iids of the ruler, lest 
it should be used to check the corrupt gains they were making 
under cover of the dustuk. 

The main contest in the Council was on this vexed question. 
The majority refused to pay any custg^ is dues to the Nizamut, 
pleading the various sanads received from the Moguls as cover- 
ing both external and inland trade. Vansittart and Hastings 
challenged this contention. Of the Company's early practice 
Hastings declared : ' Then the trade in such commodities as 
were bought and sold in the country was entirely confined to 
the natives ; they were either farmed out or circulated through 
the province by the poorer sort of people, to whom they 
afforded a subsistence. The privileges therefore claimed by 
the Company and allowed by the Government, were originally 
designed by both for goods brought into the country, or 
purchased in it for exportation ; in effect it was ever limited 
to that ; nor can any difference of power convey to us a right 
which we confessedly wanted before.' ^ 

Kasim Ali meawhile was vehemently protesting and in- 
structing his peons to stop boats concerned in this traffic. 
The offenders retaliated by accusing his officers of insolence 
and threatening to resist them by force. They refused to 
admit that Englishmen were subject to the jurisdiction of the 
Nizamut, and even allowed their gomastahs to sit in judgement 
on the native officials. The contention at the Council Board 
grew ever hotter. The maintenance of a due subordination 
to the existing Government is the principle maintained in 
a joint letter written on December 15, 1762, by Vansittart and 
Hastings to their employers at home on the subject of this 
trade ; ' The honour and dignity of our nation would be better 
maintained by scrupulous restraint of the dustuck than by 
extending it beyond its usual bounds ; and by putting our 
1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, p. 485 •! 



gomastahs under some checks. If it should appear that this 
ttade cannot be carried on without investing our gomastahs 
with an armed force, and authority to exercise that force over 
the inhabitants at their discretion, it should be forbid ; and 
we content ourselves with carrying on our trade as far as the 
Company carry theirs.' ^ ^ 

Hastings had been sent up to Monghyr in the April of 
this year to negotiate an accommodation with the Nawab. 
He recognized that Kasim was a ruler worth conciliating. 
Already he had rest(M:ed order among his native subjects, 
improved his revenulj suppressed disaffection among his 
troops, and made sound terms with his neighbours. On the 
journey to his Court Hastings saw ample evidence of the 
abuses. The English flag flew on every boat and store-shed 
without warrant, sepoys plundered at will, presuming on 
English influence, and in fine the English name was made 
a shield for every kind of disorder and breach of the Nawab's 
authority.^ The negotiation of a treaty with Kasim was 
successfully concluded, and Hastings returned to Calcutta 
only to have it repudiated by the Council, in defiance alike 
of the President and the Nawab. The majority went so far 
as to demand complete freedom from native control. They 
maintained that the attacks upon the gomastahs were trumped 
up by the native Amils, &c., to screen their own oppressions.^ 
Hastings's protest is forcibly expressed in a minute dated 
March 3, 1763 : , 

It is now proposed absolving every person in our service 
from the jurisdiction of the Government. This it is true will 
prevent their suffering any oppression ; but it gives them 
a full license of oppressing others, since, whatever crimes they 
may commit, the magistrate must patiently look on, nor dare 
even to defend the lives and properties of the subjects com- 
mitted to his care, without a violation of our rights and 
privileges. Such a system of government cannot fail to 
create in the minds of the wretched inhabitants an abhorrence 
of the English name and authority, and how would it be 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, pp. 344, 486. 

* Gleig, vol. i, p. 108. 

* Vide Calendar of Persian Correspondence, vol. , p. 150, &c. 

H 2 


possible for the Nawab, whilst he hears the cries of his people 
which he cannot redress, not to wish to free himself from 
alliance which subjects him to such indignities ? 

The President vainly arranged checks on both native and 
English disputants ; it was clear that his will could not prevail 
over his subordinates', and^^he Nawab at iLst took a short way 
with the English monopolists by declaring all dues abolished 
for a term of two years. With unheard-of effrontery the 
Councillors demanded that he should reimpose them. Hast- 
ings's protest was vigorous : * The Nay^'ab has granted a boon 
to his subjects, and there are no grounds for demanding 
that a sovereign prince should withdraw such a boon, or for 
threatening him with war in the event of refusal.' Accused of 
want of patriotism because he would have the English submit, 
Hastings was roused to fight a duel in defence of his attitude. 
A born fighter, he would not abate one jot of his just cause to 
placate the party of corruption, but abandoned one expedient 
for foiling them only to invent another, until by the violent 
and ill-judged attempt to capture the city of Patna and hold 
it against his prince, Ellis made all hope of agreement for ever 
impossible and forced his most determined opponents to make 
common cause to avenge the ensuing massacre of Englishmen. 
Hastings's own words, written ten days later, tell us how he 
received this news ; ^ 

It was my intention to resign . . . being unwilling on the one 
hand to give aifthority to past measures of which I disap- 
proved, and a new establishment which I judged detrimental 
to the honour and interests of the Company, and apprehensive 
on the other, that my continuance at the Board might serve 
only to prejudice rather than advance the good of the service, 
in keeping alive by my presence the disputes which have so 
long disturbed our councils. . . . But since our late melancholy 
advices give us reason to apprehend a dangerous and trouble- 
some war ... it is become the duty of every British subject 
to unite in support of the common cause. It is my intention 
to join my endeavour for the good of the service, not as long 
as the war should last, but as long as the troubles consequent 
from it may endanger the Company's affairs. 

* House of Commons Reports, vol. iii, p. 359. 


By the end of 1763 Mir Kasim had been hunted into Oudh 
and Mir Jafar reinstated as Nawab. A year later Kasim's 
ally, the Vizier, was overthrown, Oudh in the hands of the 
English, and the Mogul their pensioner. The conditions 
Hastings had la^id down were thus fulfilled, and he resigned 
office with his supt^ior, Vansittarf, and left Bengal on Decem- 
ber 20, 1764. • 

It was no wonder if Hastings was disillusioned and glad to 
close his career in India. The fourteen years he had now 
spent there had been ^duous in the extreme, full at times of 
danger and constant" of ignoble intrigue and strife with 
natives or with Englishmen, while the work accomplished for 
his employers might satisfy even his exacting conscience. 
Nor was he without material reward, if we may accept the 
statement of a contemporary and friend that ' he was pos- 
sessed as he supposed of a fortune of £30,000 — £5,000 of 
which accompanied him Had this been net gain, it would 
not have been a large amount as Indian fortunes were then 
reckoned. We need not on this account suspect Hastings of 
having shared in the ill practices of his compeers. He had 
not been concerned in the nefarious provision of the Invest- 
ment. He wrote at a later date with regard to his position at 
Kasimbazar, ' I can safely swear that I neither gained nor 
looked to gain a rupee from the Investment itself. My profits 
arose from a different source.' ^ There is evidence in his 
correspondence that he joined in the private trade between 
Calcutta and Madras; he may have made ventures in the 
China trade, possibly in opium ; these were legitimate 
resources. He certainly did deal in diamonds, sending them 
home to be sold in London. The cleanness of his hands was'> 
notorious (p. 104). 

Of the years that Hastings spent in England, almost all 
record has vanished. This is the more disappointing since 
what few fragments there are suggest that this was a turning- 
point in his career. How did it come about that the man who 
in 1764 abandoned the Company's service, disillusioned, and 
returned to England with the discredited Governor, Vansittart, 
* British Museum Add. MS. 29209, No. 9, p. 196. ^ Gleig, vol. iii, p. 279. 



found himself eight years later installed in his place, and with 
far greater scope than Vansittart ever had to put reforms in 
motion ? 

It was not the result of an assiduous courting of great 
personages, though it was at this time that Hastings came to 
the notice of such men as ]SK3rth and Mansfeld, probably also 
Rockingham an'd Burke, and had intercourse with Dr. Johnson 
and the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University ; his means 
were quite insufficient to procure patronage by the common 
avenues of the time. The £25,000 of A'hich he thought him- 
self possessed in India were never realized ; partly through 
the default of his debtors, partly through the drain of debts he 
had himself incurred in his somewhat haphazard business 
undertakings. Nor could he look to the Directors for favour. 
They refused to readmit him to their employment, when in 
1767 he learnt that his fortune had vanished.^ The only clue 
to his promotion lies in the scanty evidence relating to an 
inquiry held by the House of Commons into the affairs of the 
East India Company — the first of many.^ On March 6, 1767, 
Vansittart, Holwell, Warren Hastings, Eyre Coote, and others 
were ordered to attend at the bar of the House on the 20th. 
A pamphlet memoir of Hastings, written about 1820, has the 
following passage : ' Mr. Hastings being examined at the bar 
of the House of Commons during an enquiry into the affairs 
of the Company, attracted general notice by his prompt, 
masterly and intelligent expositions.' ^ 

Unfortunately the only report of this inquiry related to 
dividends, and the only account of the evidence is in the 
general terms of the First Report of the House of Commons 
Committee of 1772. Hastings's previous experience and char- 
acter fitted him to lay bare the real causes of distress in 
Bengal, the needs of the ryot, the lack of an authority to 
control the native agents, the licence into which a sudden 
accession of sovereign power had betrayed the English, and 

» Gleig says, alluding to a ramour of this loss, ' I cannot give the state- 
ment as a fact * . The evidence for it is to be found among Hastings's papers. 
Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 29209, No. 9, p. 196. 

» House of Commons Journals, vol. xxxi, p. 25. 

• Memoirs of Warren Hastings, by P. C. ; Brit. Mus. 10803 e. 16. 4. 


his strictures, we may be sure, would be aimed not at men but 
fneasures. They evidently won for him the interest of impor- 
tant Directors, such as Sir G. Colebrooke, L. Sulivan, and 
J. Purling, with whom, when Chairman, he afterwards corre- 
sponded, and the still more valuable recognition of such 
leading men as L(^ds North and^ansfield. The claim of the 
Crown to the new dominions was already being canvassed, and 
Hastings was probably of the same opinion as Clive and might 
well consider State control to be the most direct way to secure 
reforms. In any cas^it seems clear that it was the impression 
produced on this oc Jlsion which led the Court of Directors 
in 1768 to reconsider his claims to a new appointment. A 
change had just occurred in the Directorate, where hotly 
partisan bodies had been disputing the question of the rate of 
dividend to be declared, one party accusing the other of 
decrying the stock with a view to speculation. The outgoing 
clique had been deaf to Hastings's earlier request, for they 
upheld the inland traders, and he was already committed to 
a policy of reform. The new Directors sympathized, and he 
now received the appointment of second at Madras under 
Josias Dupre, with a title to the succession, and the particular 
charge of the investment as warehouse-keeper. He set out in 
March 1769, and for two years acted as right-hand man to the 
President in important negotiations with the Nabob of Arcot 
and in reforming the Madras investment. In this department 
private interest had encroached on that of the Company, and 
oppression of the weavers had become the rule. Hastings bent 
his energies to securing their protection. By introducing the 
gomastah system of providing cloths he purified the com- 
mercial service. He placed the purveyance of the investment 
goods in the hands of a trusty subordinate, C. Smith, with 
full power to control the conduct of the gomastahs and so 
prevent oppression. Hastings's report on the subject shows a 
statesmanlike appreciation of the relations at which the Com- 
pany should aim with the Nawab on the one hand, and with 
the peasantry on the other. The iniquity of the native 
administration made it hard for the Company to secure equity 
in the treatment of those who worked for them, and Hastings 


vainly desired in Madras what he was fortunately able to 
effect in Bengal, English responsibility for the government o^ 
the provinces. His work in Madras was thus placing the 
coping-stone on his training for the administration of Bengal. 
Dupre, like all who worked closely with him, became 
Hastings's firm friend and ^viser, and th^'r' later correspond 
dence sheds much light on the all-important early years of his 
own government. 

It was while he was at Madras that he was selected by the 
Court of Directors, with the approval of Lord North and the 
King, to reform Bengal.^ Lord Nduch already held the 
opinion of him which he expressed two years later in public. 
On the passing of his Regulating Act in 1773, he stated in the 
House that as first Governor-General ' he should propose a 
Person, who though flesh and blood, had resisted the greatest 
temptations — that tho' filling great Offices in Bengal during 
the various Revolutions that had been felt in that Country, 
never received a single Rupee at any one of them, and whose 
Abilities and intense application would be apparent to any 
gentleman who would consider what he had done during the 
first six months of his Administration ' ? 

Such was the man to whom was to be entrusted the work of 
cleansing the Augean stable of misrule in India. That misrule 
and the task that it presented to Hastings were not so much 

1 Gleig, vol. i, p. 471. 

2 The above speec^is recorded in a sketch of Hastings's career, appended 
to A Short Review of the Past and Present State of the British Empire in India 
{vide Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 29209, 9). Judging from internal evidence the 
Review must have been written in 1790, and the author of this note must 
have been a member of the House of Commons and a friend of Hastings. 
He adds the following remarks : 

' N.B. During our debates in the Commons — I put it once to Lord North 
how he could possibly come forward as a Minister and propose Mr. Hastings 
to be a second — a third — and a fourth time Governor-General of Bengal, 
that is in 1779, 1780 and 1781 — if he entertained sentiments of him different 
from what he did in 1773. Lord North replied that tho' there were some 
parts of Mr. Hastings' conduct which he disapproved, particularly the 
Rohilla War — he had [manuscript is here damaged] for others — that it was 
true he had proposed his reappointments at the periods I mentioned and 
he had done so because Mr. Hastings was a Man of great firmness and 
Abilities, who possessed the confidence of the East India Co. and because 
it was in a season of war — of Difficulty — danger and distress. These I 
believe are exactly the words he used.' 


due to the misdeeds of individuals as to the clash of irrecon- 
•cilable elements ; a purely mercantile community forced to 
step into the place of a decaying Government, ignorant of the 
customs, the religions, and the social habits of its peoples : 
neither acknowledging nor even recognizing any responsi- 
bility to its subjects, and yet wi|lding in reality a power over 
them as unrestrained as the most absolutj of despotisms. 
Hastings's task, as time would prove it, was to reconcile these 
opposites and to build upon them the foundations of Empire : 
but in the eyes of the Directors and shareholders it was to 
make the East Indi^ Company pay. And even that task, 
taken at its lowest estimate, was no easy one. To make the 
trade flourish again, its agents must devote themselves to it, 
and not to their own interests ; but already they complained 
that fortunes were no longer to be made in India : and they 
were the very men on whom the reformer must rely to get his 
measures passed and put into execution, his fellow, country- 
men, on whom alone he had a claim for assistance ; to alienate 
them at the outset would be fatal. Again, this trade had its 
sources in the fertility of Bengal, and that fertility depended 
on the welfare of the cultivating ryots. But the ryots were 
being driven to destitution and vagabondage by the oppres- 
sion of the officials, the extravagance and profligacy of the 
princes, the ravages of war and drought. To restore the 
resources of a naturally luxuriant country would thus involve 
no less than a fundamental reorganization o^f the entire State. 
The officials must be placed under an efficient control, the 
princes rendered innocuous, the system of finance rehabili- 
tated, judicial protection established, and the security of 
person and property restored ; and all this was impossible 
without a reform of military affairs, for the army was the 
ultimate basis of the whole edifice. If Hastings was to satisfy 
the demands of his employers, he must do no less than create 
afresh the entire system of government of Bengal. He must 
penetrate the baffling complexities and contradictions of the 
ancient growth he sought to replace, must understand and 
enter into the traditions, the prejudices, the habits of a mass 
of peoples of immemorial age and unexampled tenacity, whose 


deepest and most ineradicable convictions and tendencies were 
foreign to him and to those whose co-operation he required^. 
Nor was he free to use his own judgement and carry out his 
own views. Far from it ; the Directors' urgent need of funds 
bound him to place financial advantage and economy in the 
forefront of his programmg; and this fpconomy must be 
achieved by the. aid of men whose main, if not their only, aim 
hitherto had been to enrich themselves and to enjoy the 
parade and luxury which, in their view, could alone compen- 
sate them for the isolation and discomforts of their life in 
India. Should he succeed in winnif^ their goodwill and 
ready aid, still they were for the most part unpractised in 
governing ; while if he turned to the natives, in whose hands 
the executive* work had once lain, their experience, he well 
knew, had made them almost without exception adepts at 
intrigue, embezzlement^ and the very malpractices he had set 
out to end. They were not even men of one race or bound by 
a common tie of patriotism. To invoke the love of country 
might well bring down nothing but hatred on the Englishmen 
who had exploited natives' disputes in order to despoil their 

However stoutly supported at home, the strongest heart 
might without shame have quailed to set out on so hard a task 
as this, but instead of receiving support, Hastings was to be 
subjected to a fierce fire of criticism from potent but ill- 
informed authorities at home. The worst elements of the 
Bengal European community, finding their corrupt practices 
checked, came home to spend their days in spreading rancor- 
ous accounts of the new measures. Speculators in East India 
Stock combined with politicians, distracted by the ebb and 
flow of party strife, to hinder every effort at economy. Yet 
the thing was done, and done in two years ; not indeed brought 
to full completion — to that many devoted lives had yet to con- 
tribute — ^but the morass was drained, the road marked out, 
and sound lines laid which survived the welter of ensuing 
disputes and made commerce and prosperity possible. 




[These extracts about Hastings's work at Madras are inter- 
esting in two particulars. His report cannot be quoted at 
length, for it deals mainly with business details and is very 
voluminous, bu» the passagesnselected show the principles 
that guided his treatment of subordinates arjd the real under- 
standing he had of the conditions of their service. To this 
consideration for their interests it was no doubt due that he 
found loyal assistants to conduct the various new branches 
of administration irjBengal. The second valuable passage is 
Hastings's pronounSment of the necessity of English control 
if the peasantry were to be freed from tyranny. On that 
position rests the justification for our presence in India, now 
as then.] 

Report on the Investment made by Hastings to the 
Council at Madras. 

Madras Records, vol. 240, p. 32.] 

December 3, 1771. 

... It is proper that I should now lay before your Honours 
an account of the manner in which I have endeavoured to 
execute your commands, and of the present form and state 
of the Investment, to which I shall beg leave to add some 
necessary observations respecting the general conduct of this 

On May 2nd the Board came to the resolution that the 
Investment of the Presidency should be jtrovided by gomas- 
tahs, and I was directed to carry their design into execution ; 
it is not necessary to enter into the detail of the difficulties 
I met with or the steps I took in discharge of this trust — it 
was the interest of all the merchants and every native servant 
of the warehouse, and of the connexions of both, to counteract 
a design which tended to deprive them of their livelihood or 
emoluments. I expected therefore much opposition. . . . 

... It will be apparent from the description I have given 
of the manner of providing cotton-thread that it is not a busi- 
ness of such a kind as can be managed by any temporary agent 
in the course of office — it requires the constant attention 
of a person who can find his own account in conducting it, 
who has a knowledge of the country, of the language of this 
particular subject and of business in general. . . . 


The cotton-thread must have been provided by one of these 
three modes — by agency with a commission such as the* 
present is, or by agency with a fixed salary, or by contract. 
If a fixed salary were allowed it would not have been made 
equal to the trouble, or even if equal it would be no induce- 
ment to the agent to give an extraordinary attention to the 
business entrusted to him, atid in course of^cimc it would be 
left to Comioplie^ or other inferior agents, and by accumulated 
charges, impositions in the price, embezzlements and bad 
debts the Company would probably lose instead of gaining by 
this article. If it were provided by contract, the contractor 
would require his own terms, and it is nc/^likely they would be 
more advantageous to the Company thaV what are allowed to 
the agent, or the contract must have been given to the best 
bidder, and might fall to the lot of a person ill qualified for it. 
. . . The mode adopted substitutes the interest of the agent in 
place of his duty. The more diligence and attention he shows 
in his employ, the greater will be his profits and the greater, of 
course, those of the Company. . . . Though every man will 
think himself obliged to perform the ordinary duties of his 
station, yet few will be found actuated with so much zeal for 
the service of the Company as to sacrifice the care of their own 
concerns to it, and to devote the whole of their time, labour 
and attention to promote the interests of their employers, 
without the hope of some advantage to themselves. 

The Company have ever shown a reluctance to the method 
of rewarding the diligence of their servants by fixed gratuities. 
Many obvious reasons may be assigned for this. Salaries 
given for particular services grow into the rights of office, and 
cease to be the incitements of industry. In a service con- 
stituted as the Company's is, they are besides too apparent 
for the jealousy of the public eye. Such emoluments as arise 
out of the services for which they are granted and which keep 
a proportion to the benefit derived to the Company from them, 
are most likely to animate the diligence and bind the fidelity 
of their servants as they are all most consonant to the spirit 
which seems to have guided our Honourable employers them- 
selves in the dispensation of their bounty to their servants. 

For the same reasons and because the business of the agent 
is subordinate and accountable to the warehouse-keeper, whose 
duty it more immediately is to attend to the due manage- 
ment of so valuable and important a part of the Investment, 
I have thought it both equitable and prudent to share the 
profits of the Commission equally between him and the agent, 
it will then become equally his interest, as it is the agent's, to 


increase the profits in the thread, in which his mfluence may 
• prove as effectual as the diligence of the agent. It will make it 
worth his while to increase the amount of the Investment, and 
he will be to a great degree responsible for the quality of the 
cloths, as that will depend principally on the goodness of the 
thread of which he has the provision. 

I think it netessary to deci>are that (though warehouse- 
keeper) I have no interest in this propositiop. I neither have 
nor will receive the benefit of a single fanam from any of 
the arrangements made or to be made. Had I been disposed 
to turn this trust to my own profit, it will easily be conceived 
that I might suppAs the matter of the cotton-thread and 
have invested the profits of it to my own use, as a perquisite 
of office, without much hazard of detection or of censure if 
detected, letting it pass in account with the weavers, according 
to established custom, as so much cash received. The share 
of the agent, if the Board shall think proper to allow it, I have 
resigned to Mr. C. Smith, my deputy, I am much indebted to 
him for active and hearty assistance. . . . An entire change 
has taken place by which the interests of many are affected. 
The native servants have lost their livelihood and importance. 
They are all averse to the present system and would without 
doubt rejoice at any occasion that should overset it and 
restore the former practice of providing the Investment by 
contract. These men are related by cast, family or some other 
relation with most of the dubashes in the settlement, who will 
most probably adopt the same interest and inclinations, and 
all the arts of influence and intrigue will be employed to 
throw doubts, suspicions and difficulties upon the present 
forms of business. . . . 

Every hope of this kind will be cut off by the appointment 
of Mr. C. Smith, the deputy warehouse-keeper, to succeed me 
in my employ. He has been personally instrumental in 
establishing the new mode, he will be more likely to adhere to 
the.measures and will have a stronger interest in their success 
than any other person, less concerned in the previous trans- 
actions. The weavers will accustom themselves to the service 
of the Company when they find themselves supported and 
likely to continue in it, nor will the Investment be liable to 
interruption from any attempts to introduce other innova- 
tions which are never so dangerous as innovations already 
made. In my instructions to Mr. Smith I recommended it to 
him to find out some means if possible to confine the Com- 
pany's Investment to certain entire villages and leave the rest 
to other purchasers. My intention in this was to facilitate the 



business of the Investment by bringing it into a closer com- 
pass, to prevent the confusion of accounts, embezzlements and * 
bad debts arising from competitions, and to guard the char- 
acter of the warehouse-keeper against the reproach imputable 
to him of employing the weavers for his own private account 
and using authority to exclude the merchants under colour and 
sanction of the Company's naftie. . . . Should the government 
and revenues of the Jagir ever be allowed to fall under the 
control of the Company's representatives, many privileges and 
humanities may be granted to the weavers which would recon- 
cile them to the exclusive service of the Company, and by 
other general encouragements an ever §^^-^ater number might 
be drawn to inhabit the Company's lana^ at least they might 
be exempted from those rigours which they now experience, 
and by which they are often driven from their habitations and 
would 'probably be compelled to desert the Jagir altogether, 
did not the neighbouring country offer them the prospect of 
greater want and severer oppression. . . . The weavers are, 
or ought to be, the strength of the Jagir. The weavers in 
general pay a tax to the government varying in different 
places, a tax which is never felt as an oppression because it is 
fixed, and is ever less in proportion to the industry of the 
proprietor. They are besides obliged to take their quota of 
the general distribution of grain belonging to the Circar, for 
which a price is exacted commonly about 20 % above its 
real or current value. This is a great oppression and is felt 
more severely because the assessment is altogether arbitrary 
. . . dependent on the mere will and authority of the 

Thus much I will venture to affirm, that whatever grievances 
the inhabitants miy or do suffer, no remedy can be applied to 
them while the country continues in the hands, and at the 
disposal of the Nabob : that is, while he pays for the right 
of oppressing it. . . . 

This Government must ever subsist at the precarious will of 
the Nabob, unless it is possessed of some territory, or indirectly 
assumes the command of the resources of the Carnatic by its 
influence with the ruler of it, a mode liable to many dangers 
and inconveniences. A middle way might perhaps be found 
of freeing itself from that state of dependence and at the same 
time of leaving the Nabob the uncontrolled master of his own 
dominions by taking possession of the Jagir which would 
furnish the means of enlarging and improving the Investment ; 
of improving the revenue by the repairing of tanks and of 
encouraging manufactures and trade, of providing for the 



defence of the Settlement, and the lands adjoining to it, of 
laying up stores of grain against future scarcity, of acquiring 
the command of a numerous and contented people, and of 
every necessary and conveniency of life, which are now no 
more at your disposal than the daily allowance of rice which 
a slave receives f^m the necessary bounty of his master. 

I am very respectfully, 

Honourable Sir & Sirs 
Your most obedient, humble servant 
Warren Hastings. 

Fort St. George, p 
December 2, 1771. 



Growth of public interest in India — The inquiry of 1767 — The dispute 
about Dividend — The appointment of Commissioners — Objects and 
temper of the Court of Directors — The mandaf ^ to Hastings — His views 
and plans. y-^ 

The Parliamentary inquiry which in 1767 had brought 
Warren Hastings into prominence was due to no momentary 
or individual action, soon to be laid aside and forgotten. 
The East India Company, hitherto able to keep its concerns 
out of the glare of publicity, was beginning to be an object of 
interest, if not to the general public, at least to that informed 
part of it which constituted ' the World ' of eighteenth-century 
London. Perhaps the first thing to excite curiosity outside 
its own ranks was the attempt of the Company to prosecute 
certain of its servants. These were the members of Spencer's 
Council, who had all received huge presents for setting up the 
young Nawab, Nujum-ud-Daula, in 1765, just after the depar- 
ture of Vansittart and Hastings. Owing to the wealth of the 
Councillors, the suit was afterwards dropped, but the temper 
of the partisans on.either side spread the agitation among the 
public, and the further discussion of Clive's jagir kept it 
afoot. Men had begun to look upon India as a mine of ines- 
timable fortunes, and rushed to buy the Company's stock, 
which rose in 1767 to the price of 263 per cent. The rate of 
dividend to be declared was a question that concerned the 
greatest. The Company's position became the burning topic 
of the day, and East India quotations were cried in the coffee- 
houses. There were many who, like Lord Verney or the 
Burkes, in 1769 lost large sums in the gamble ; ^ and the 

^ Morley's Burke, p. 47 ; Report of the Committee of Proprietors, 1773, 
p. 29. 


public was always on the alert for news from India. But it is 
well to remember that news was only to be derived from 
sources tainted by the strongest party feeling. On the one 
hand the exaggerated reports of the so-called ' Nabobs 
enriched by Indian spoils ; on the other, the malicious inven- 
tions of disappointed or discre^ted adventurers served as 
authorities to the historian and the publicist.* 

The Company's own Courts were divided into hostile 
camps, some urging that a dividend of 12^ % should be 
declared, others pointjfcg prudently to the diminishing receipts. 
The House of Commons inquiry led to another in the House 
of Lords, the upshot of which in 1767 was a Bill to restrain 
the dividend to a maximum of 10 %, and to exact from the 
Company an annual payment of £400,000, which they were 
forced to raise by a loan. This was the first clear assertion of 
the Crown's right to intervene in the Company's affairs. It 
was in truth the beginning of the end, a Danegelt paid by 
the Directors to stave off the national appropriation of their 
territories. Their receipts are shown ^ to have exceeded two 
million pounds sterling annually. But the Company's 
finances were not in reality so sound as a mere statement of 
their net receipts would seem to imply : they knew it to be 
imperative that costly reforms should be set on foot to stem 
the exhaustion of the country. They had endeavoured to 
initiate these by means of a Commission of Supervisors, 
Messrs. Vausittart, Scrafton, and Forde. 'These were all 

^ The best-known writings of the day on India were those of Messrs. 
Bolts and Dow. Hastings's opinion of them is given in letters to his friend 
Mr. SuHvan : ' It affords me no inconsiderable concern to observe that the 
people of England and even our Honourable Masters, who should form their 
opinions with more candour, are thus easily induced to credit every calumny 
put forth by each paltry scribbler of the day. The productions of Messrs. 
Bolts and Dowe are medlies replete (though not in an equal degree) with 
abominable untruths, base aspersions and absurdities. How cruel to Judge 
the reputation of anyone by such criterions ! . . . I detest both Bolts' 
performance and Dowe's. The former is such a medley of nonsense as 
well as falsehood, and must disgust any unpassionate reader.' [He adds 
that Dow's, while partly true, is wanting in the subjects of revenue, 
justice, &c., and hopes that the Court of Directors do not form their judge- 
ment of the conduct and character of their servants from such evidence.] 
Vide British Museum Add. MS. 29127. 

2 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, Appendix 65, p. 535. 

1526.9 T 


Bengal servants of standing and experience. They were 
dispatched from England in November 1769, and lost at sea, 
whereby a year was wasted, and it was not till the spring of 

1771 that the Directors determined to supply their place by 
appointing one man, Warren Hastings. Hastings had been 
Vansittart's main and often^sole supporter, both in Bengal and 
at the bar of tlfie House of Commons, and the choice of him 
to carry out the work which had been designed for his leader 
was thus a natural one. His appointment was made in a dis- 
patch from the Court of Directors to tl(a President and Council 
of Bengal, dated April 10, 1771, and received on February 2, 

1772 ; he reached Calcutta from Madras by February 17 of 
that year.^ The President, Cartier, had failed to carry out the 
Directors' orders to institute inquiries and recover moneys from 
certain of their servants : while admitting his abilities and 
previous good conduct,^ they expressed their displeasure and 
commanded his resignation, but he was to retain control until 
the season's ships were dispatched. He took his leave on 
April 13, 1772, but did not quit India until January 1773. 
Hastings assumed the government on April 9, 1772. 

Hastings spent the two months of waiting in studying the 
situation and the instructions to the three Commissioners, 
which he found awaiting his attention. 

1 Gleig, vol. i, p. 198; Bengal Letters received, No. 10; Bengal Civil 
List, vol. ii, April '^*773. 

^ Cartier had joined the service and travelled to India at the same time 
as Hastings, and worked in the same office from 1749 to 1753. 

A fuller analysis of Cartier's character is given in an anonymous Short 
Review of the British Empire in India, written in 1790 (British Museum 
Add. MS. 29209, No. 9, p. 195) : 'In the discussion that took place in 
Parliament in 1773, upon Indian affairs, it was the fashion to impute the 
embarrassments of the Company at that period to the misconduct of the 
Government of Bengal, and it was the interest of the Minister and Clive 
to encourage such an idea — but the fact was otherwise ; Mr. Verelst, who 
succeeded Clive, was as honest and as worthy a man as ever lived. He 
quitted the Government a poorer man than he entered it. So did his 
successor, who was known throughout his life in India by the name of the 
virtuous Mr. Cartier, and has been for eighteen years a respectable plain 
English country gentlemen, with an income of ;^2,ooo a year, in the Woulds 
of Kent, and distinguished by the title of the Man of Kent by all his neigh- 
bours. These two Governours were actually tied down by Clive and the 
Directors to the observance of the absurd system which Clive had estab- 
lished. Mr. Hastings was the first man authorized to abolish it.' 



In reviewing their affairs three main objects had engaged 
tTie Company's efforts : 

1. The adjustment of the relation of Bengal to the 
neighbouring * country ' powers. 

2. The correction of internal abuses. 

3. The raising ol funds, (a) by fevenue, {b) by commerce. 
To appreciate the force of their orders with regard to the 

first, the political situation of India as it affected the British 
must be understood. The effete empire of the Moguls was in 
the hands of indepenc^t princes, who still — like the Company 
— pretended for the nmst part a titular obedience to it, but the 
greatest power in native India was really that of the Marathas. 
This was a loose confederation of predatory states, having 
their base in the hill-country of central India, north of the 
Narbada River, whence they terrorized the plains and 
extorted a tribute, called * chout *, from all and sundry. 
Their nominal head was the Peshwa or minister of a Raja 
faineant f the descendant of Sivaji, at Poona, whose position 
threatened Bombay. He had supports to the north-east and 
east, in the excessively mobile arms of Holkar, Chief of Malwa, 
and the more established rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad, 
a neighbour dangerous to Madras. The most powerful leader 
of them all was, however, Sindhia of Gwalior, whose impreg- 
nable strongholds threatened Delhi and the fertile Doab valley 
to the south of it ; while still farther to the south-east the ring 
was closed by the Bhonsla of Nagpur, who clahned chout along 
the borders of Bengal and over half Orissa. Had this loose 
mass been capable of crystallizing into a solid and progressive 
state, the English might have left India to work out her own 
salvation under its leading, but it was essentially a dynamic 
and disruptive force, living by warfare and organized plunder, 
and constantly itself racked by the discords of its rival chiefs. 
Yet it was a great and growing military power, as Clive had 
recognized. He had advised the Directors to make terms with 
it, paying chout in return for a formal cession of Orissa, which 
province, while it was included in the Emperor's grant of the 
Diwani, was so drained by raids that ithad yielded little beyond 
the revenue of the easternmost portion, Midnapore. To this 



suggestion the Company turned a deaf ear ; Clive then con- 
cluded the Treaty of Allahabad, acknowledging the Emperor 
but relying for the defence of Bengal against the Marathas 
upon his nominal Vizier, Shuja-ud-Daula, ruler of Oudh. 
This district stretched from the borders of the Mogul's lands 
to Bihar, and its most important districts were the southern 
provinces of Kora and Allahabad, lying along the Ganges 
highway. As the main way of approach to Bengal from the 
interior, it was of vital strategical importance. Whoever held 
it in force could, if hostile to Bengal, | ifie her commerce and 
pour their forces down upon her plains: It stood to Bengal as 
the Rhine valley stands to the Low Countries, a shield in 
friendly hands, but in those of an enemy the gateway of doom. 
By Clive's arrangement the once hostile Vizier was reconciled 
and reinstated in Oudh as the ally and outpost of Bengal ; 
but the clause which forced him to make over to the Emperor 
the revenues of his best provinces, Kora and Allahabad, 
crippled his power and weakened his adhesion. The Emperor 
too was no sooner returned to Delhi than he found himself 
a virtual prisoner in Sindhia's hands, and was forced to con- 
vert to the marauders' use whatever political and financial 
credit he could still muster, not excluding the Oudh revenues 
so lately acquired. These were serious flaws in the main stuff 
of Clive's treaty, turning his weapons against himself. Such 
was the actual state of affairs when the Company's Instruc- 
tions to their tkree Commissioners came to be inherited by 
Hastings as Governor. The policy they laid down for the 
future was one of non-intervention. The Emperor was to 
retain the revenues of Kora and Allahabad and to receive his 
portion of the Diwani revenues, but not to be abetted in any 
new enterprise ; for the Company saw that each step must 
lead to a fresh advance, and conquest was no part of their 
ambition. This is very emphatically stated in the Instruc- 
tions to the Commissioners (p. 127), and as concerned Bengal 
Hastings succeeded skilfully in obeying them : though the 
other Presidencies were later to embroil him in war. 

To attain their second object, the removal of internal 
abuses, the Directors proposed three courses. 


The first was an inquiry into the methods and machinery of 
justice, and to this end the first suggestion in the Instructions 
of 1769 was to set up a Resident and Council in each province, 
Murshidabad for Bengal and Patna for Bihar. Six months 
later, however, a rearrangement of the service was proposed. 
The Council, to consist hencefortl^of nine members, were to be 
fixed at Calcutta, and allowed to take no other post, so that 
they might devote their energies to inspecting the revenue 
accounts, hearing complaints and redressing grievances * in 
case of maladministra^on of justice, extortion or oppression 
of any kind . . , whicirthey only can do as there are no other 
Justices of the Peace in that Country *. This statement shows 
a confusion to exist in the minds of the Directors. It implied 
that the native Courts of Justice were under the superintend- 
ence of the English Company : but until they should assume 
their proper responsibilities by ' starting forth as Dewan * and 
throwing off the mask of the Nizamut, that was not the ease. 
In 1770 they had not done so. The truth was, that the 
Directors did not know what, if any, native Courts of Justice 
existed, and were far from appreciating the distinction 
between the civil powers of a Diwan and the criminal juris- 
diction of the Nizam and his Faujdars. Nevertheless they 
were on the right road. To confine their Calcutta Government 
to governing was an essential reform now that they were the 
rulers of Bengal, and the first step which clearly differentiated 
the territorial power of the Company from it* old commercial 
character. The work of merchants and the supervision of the 
local collections were both in future to be left to the lower 
ranks of the Service. The Councillors were to have fixed 
salaries and might carry on private trade in free competition 
with all comers, whether native or European. 

For to secure their third aim of an improved financial 
position the Company in all their dispatches insisted that the 
inland trade was to be * free, equal and open to all without 
distinction, subject to all duties which may be levied on behalf 
of the Company '. It was hoped that the duties on inland and 
private trade would amount to £120,000 per annum (p. 130). 
As they abolished English monopolies, so also they commanded 


inquiry to be made into that part of the revenue which formed 
the Nawab's stipend, to ensure that no monopolies should 
linger on under his aegis, and that the money paid out to him 
should not be frittered away unnecessarily. Still further to 
ensure a full and free flow of the wealth of Bengal into their 
treasury, and the due payment of those hi^^J^ dividends which 
London awaited with so much eagerness, economy was strictly 
enjoined on the civil and military establishments, and espe- 
cially in army contracts, which had waxed inordinately : an 
unauthorized donation made by the Q fincil under Spencer's 

regime to certain civil and military sd /ants out of a surplus 
revenue fund was to be recovered : and all who had been 
guilty of practising the forbidden inland trade monopolies 
were to be prosecuted and made to disgorge, not for the 
benefit of the poor native competitor but for that of the 
offended Company ! 

Such were the orders which the Commissioners had been 
meant to execute, and they had been made known to the 
Calcutta Government before Hastings's arrival. The responsi- 
bility for their execution devolved on him, and for twelve 
months after his arrival a further series of dispatches con- 
tinued to arrive, heaping indignation on his predecessors and 
proposing fresh reforms. The effect of these additional orders 
was to increase the number of inquiries committed to Hast- 
ings's charge, but at the same time to give a vital impulse to his 
powers by the a,'^tual assumption of the Diwani Government. 
It is evident that as soon as the Directors looked into the 
working of their previous orders for reform they must have 
realized that these could only be put through by the exercise 
of the Diwani authority, and that they must themselves 
direct the Nizamut, since they had deprived it of independent 
force. By the dispatch of April lo, 1771, in which they had 
ordered the removal of superfluous custom-houses, they had 
already intervened in the administration of public affairs. 
In 1771 they were looking for good results from the newly 
installed supervisors, whose activities would, it was thought, 
make Mohamed Reza Khan's connexion with the revenues 
a sinecure. But the reports of the supervisors when they 



came to hand showed this experiment to be a failure. It was 
^en a very short step, though one of epoch-making impor- 
tance, to assume the Government and remove Mohamed Reza 
Khan, and this step the Directors took in their dispatch of 
August 28, 1771. The mismanagement or peculation in the 
Nizamut, the drought and famine of 1770, were producing 
disastrous results throughout the country, which began to be 
apparent even to those at home in the disapp*ointing revenue 
and the reduced investment. It was necessary to admit that 
Clive's Dual System had broken down : neither the officers 
of the Nizamut, who h^ed the power, nor the English servants, 
who disowned responsibility, could or would keep order in 
the land. Two things needed doing : a power at once suffi- 
cient and responsible must be established ; and those indivi- 
duals, whether native or English, who had abused their power 
must be made to answer for it. In Hastings the Directors felt 
that they had an efficient chief in whose person they might 
safely take the bold step, and upon him these two tasks were 
laid : by what new system they were to be accomplished it 
was largely left to him to decide.^ Of the two, the inquiry 
into the conduct of offenders was, in the opinion of the Direc- 
tors, the first in importance. Here Hastings privately 
differed from his employers : ^ he fully recognized the abuses, 
but he already perceived that the blame for them attached by 
right to the impossible system and not to the men, who in 
many cases had done their utmost to make it work.^ 

He foresaw that the opposition and delaj^ to which these 
inquiries must give rise would seriously hamper, if they did 
not entirely prevent, the far more important work of laying 

1 By the year 1771 it had become evident that the three Commissioners 
were lost at sea, and Hastings's appointment was consequently made. The 
dispatch of December 18, 177 1, was the first addressed to him as President, 
and was accompanied by a private letter directing him to prosecute guilty 

* Gleig, vol. i, p. 216 ; House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 307. 

* Gleig, vol. i, p. 368. Hastings was prepared to trust natives with office 
as well as English {vide p. 156, Proposed Regulations, 6). In this respect 
his understanding of the native character seems to have been in advance 
of his age ; our own has proved how well confidence in Indian ability and 
devotion to the British Raj is warranted. 


down new lines of administration. He expressed his views to 
his friend Dupre at Madras : ' I shall be sorry to begin my 
new office with retrospections. These measures are arming 
my hand against every man, and every man's of course against 
me.* ^ His private correspondence during the spring and 
summer of 1772 is even morf^ valuable thai>ihis official reports 
for the insight it affords into the mind and aims of the re- 
former (pp. 146-151). 

He gives in a letter to Purling his impressions of the changes 
in Bengal since he quitted it in 1764 : 'The portrait of Bengal 
falls short of the life. Will you belie'^ ^that the boys of the 
service are the sovereigns of the country under the unmeaning 
title of supervisors, collectors of the revenue, administrators of 
justice and rulers, heavy rulers of the people ? They are said 
to be under the control of the Boards of Revenue at Moor- 
shedabad and Patna, who are lords of those capitals and of the 
districts annexed to them, and dispose of the first offices of the 
state. Subject (as it is said also) to the Governor and Council, 
who, you may take my word for it, if the conclusion be 
not self-evident, have neither honour nor emolument, but are 
honoured only with responsibility. This is the system which 
my predecessor, Cartier, was turned out for exposing, and 
I will be turned out too rather than suffer it to continue as 
it is.' 

Here again Hastings makes a clear-cut distinction between 
the system and the men operating it. While condemning the 
tyranny of the supervisors unreservedly, as well as that of the 
members of the new Revenue Boards, he traces the source of 
the evil to their inevitable rivalry with the Council. Sup- 
posed both in India and England to be the supreme controlling 
body, it was in fact, since the institution of supervisors, the 
least coveted and least regarded position in the Company's 
service, holding out little attraction and much toilsome busi- 
ness to its members. Many of these indeed were absentees, 
holding lucrative Chiefships up-country ; the business was 
either neglected or hurried through by the unfortunates 
detained in Calcutta (pp. 146, 155, letter to Purling and 
* Gleig, vol. i, p. 264. 



Proposed Regulations, 4), and the decisions, where they con- 
flicted with private interests, could be challenged or circum- 
vented through the kind offices of the independent Boards of 
Revenue. Hastings's letters to individual Directors glow with 
indignation at the confusion and corruption that resulted, 
and while he married time, waiting for Cartier's departure, he 
planned the work to be done under seven hea^ds : 

1. To implant the authority of the Company and the 

sovereignty of Great Britain in the constitution. 

2. To abolish all A^ret influence and make Government 

itself responsible. 

3. To remove independent despotism by being open to com- 


4. To relieve the ryots from oppressive taxes. 

5. To introduce a regular system of justice and protection. 

6. To relieve the distresses of the Company at home by : 

(a) Uniform collections of the revenue ; 

(b) Savings in the expenses of the Government ; 

(c) Foreign acquisitions of wealth. 

7. To extend the political influence of the Company without 

enlarging its territory. 

Several of these points invite comment. The claim of the 
Crown to sovereign rights over their territories was one the 
Company were naturally loath to admit without reserve : Hast- 
ings appears to take it for granted. His ne^t aim, to abolish 
secret influence, meant nothing less than a frank casting aside 
of the mask Clive had imposed, and a full assumption of the 
Company's responsibility. To remove independent despo- 
tism, relieve the ryot and afford him justice, would be the 
natural outcome of such a step, though to complete these 
reforms many measures would be required. The most direct 
would have been to remove the supervisors from their dis- 
tricts, as Henry H removed the independent sheriffs from 
English shires. But Hastings was not a king, and the pat- 
ronage and influence of Directors and ' King's friends ' made 
such a clean sweep as yet a counsel of perfection. Hastings 
could only attain to it by a long course of tenacious persistence. 


The final clause deals with foreign relations, and here we find 
Hastings yields only a partial assent to the policy of non* 
intervention. He shows no more wish than his masters to 
extend their territory, but for its very preservation he is 
determined to extend their influence. He recognized more 
clearly than they what a danger threaten^'d Bengal and the 
whole of India ^in the aggressive militarism of the Maratha 
states, and that Bengal could only be safe if, by a firm system 
of alliances, she lent British support to her strongest neigh- 
bours and formed of them a barrier. 

With these aims as his goal Hasting ^held on a consistent 
course through his long administration, giving place now and 
again before overwhelming opposition, only to return at the 
first opportunity to the resumption of his programme. The 
best summary of the measures by which he sought to initiate 
the work is to be found in the Regulations proposed for the 
Government of Bengal (p. 153). The manuscript in which 
they survive is undated, and they are little known because 
they formed only the rough draft of ideas later embodied in 
the Regulations for the Settlement of Revenues issued by 
the Calcutta Committee of Revenue on May 14, 1772,^ and 
the Plan of Justice issued by the Committee of Circuit and 
generally known as the Plan of 1772.^ 

These Proposed Regulations never became law in their 
original shape, but they are none the less important. They 
show the Governipent of Bengal as Hastings would have had it, 
and a comparison of this scheme of his with the actual Regu- 
lations so soon after enforced gives the measure of deflexion 
from his direct path which was imposed upon him by the 
views of others. It is worthy of remark that while the merely 
retrospective and inquisitorial features of the Directors* 
orders are here ignored, the scheme embodies all those com- 
mands which had a constructive value for the new State, and 
is essentially based on the new principle asserted in August 
1771, of ' starting forth as Dewan 

1 /. O. Records, Range 67, vol. liv, p. 251. 
* House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 301. 


In the uiost important Regulations I and IV, Hastings 
Embodies the Company's resolve to confine the Council to its 
administrative work, and his notes upon them follow closely 
the reasoning of the Directors' Letter to the three Commis- 
sioners of March 23, 1770. The numbers of the Council are 
not specified.^ Ailfirm control oithe executive in every part 
would be secured to the Governor by the second Regulation, 
which made him ex officio president of every committee 
and also Commander-in-Chief. The principle of civil control 
was still further safeguarded by the third article, afterwards 
erased, where militajP officers were prohibited attendance at 
the Council Board. In the disputes which had occurred 
between Cartier's Council and the officers, and the conduct of 
General Barker in 1772, with regard to Captain Harper and 
the Burrampore court martial, the motive for such clauses 
may be traced. There is no doubt that Hastings embodied 
in them his conviction that indisputable supremacy should 
rest in the hands of the civil authority, but in suppressing 
clause 3 he showed his prudence. It would no doubt prove 
apt to provoke the jealousy of his military colleagues and 
even that of the Directors, who, while they constantly assured 
him of support in his reforms; were yet extremely susceptible 
to any independence of their authority.^ 

No clause shows more clearly than No. 5 that Hastings 
outran his employers in grasp of the true economic values of 

In an erased part of the first Regulation and a ifbte to the fourth the 
numbers of the Council are given as twelve, which had been the usual 
numbers for some years before 1770. In March 1770 the Company had, 
however, confined the number to nine. On the other hand, on the occasion 
of Hastings's appointment, fourteen Councillors were named (April 10, 
1 771), and it was not clear whether this was meant as rule or exception. 
Either number was sufficiently large to prevent partisan feeling forming 
such a deadlock as occurred after the Regulating Act had reduced the 
numbers to four. This was a danger which Hastings foresaw. His experi- 
ence of Committees led him to prefer an executive of one, but to consider 
a large body safer than a small one. He wrote on November 11, 1772 : 
' A principle of decision must rest somewhere. In a body of men entrusted 
with it, its efficacy is lost by being too much divided. It is liable to still 
worse consequences the less the number is of which the body consists, 
because the majority is easier formed. Fixed to a single point only it can 
command confidence and ensure consistency' (Gleig, vol. i, p. 371). 

2 These clauses, 2 and 3, should be compared with Hastings's suggestions 
to the Court of Directors, made in the General Letter of November 11, 1773. 


their territory as contrasted with narrower, commercial 
interests. The fact that * the Investment is now but a second- 
ary object of the Company's attention ' is the key-note to the 
whole situation since 1765, and it was a fact that the share- 
holders failed to seize : the more enlightened of the Directors 
had but just appreciated its It is imposi^.ble to read their 
dispatches without noticing that their interest quickens 
whenever they turn from somewhat vague directions for the 
benefit of the Hindu to the subject of their own proper sphere, 
commerce. In Warren Hastings's repl\"S the tendency is all 
the other way. From a perfunctory afv^ation to the require- 
ments of the treasury, he turns with a real. and lively devotion 
to the broad social and economic problems presented by his 
subjects, whether ryots or Zemindars ; probably of all these 
Regulations the one nearest his heart was No. 6, which com- 
mitted the collections to the hands of native agents as of old. 
Shame and indignation over the past misdeeds of their Eng- 
lish masters show between the lines of his closing plea for 
* the people whom as our subjects we are bound to protect '. 
He follows it up in clauses 7 and 8, by the most telling blows 
at the old state of things. With the exception of a Resident 
and his Writer at each aurung, all Europeans are to be con- 
fined to Calcutta, where the Mayor's Court can enforce their 
obedience to British laws. The rest of the country is to be put 
once more under the traditional authority of the Hindu and 
Mahomedan jud,'cial systems, until by gradual contact 
Western ideas shall have proved their claims to superiority 
and won acceptance. Hastings had a high idea of the efficacy 
of the native systems when properly enforced, and he speaks 
eloquently of the unfairness of subjecting the natives to 
laws utterly foreign to their understanding or habits. On the 
other hand, he is resolute that no native shall escape the 
penalties imposed by his own laws through pleading the pro- 
tection of an English employer. In the country the native 
magistrate should be supreme over every inhabitant, with 
the sole exception of the two covenanted servants at each 
aurung or factory. Even this exception aA"orded a loophole 
for the old abuses, as Hastings saw, but with all other Euro- 


peans withdrawn, it would be easy to identify an offending 
tervant, and a strong central authority was being called into 
existence at Calcutta, fully competent to punish them. The 
suggestion of an iter of Councillors, embodied in Regulation 11, 
was no doubt meant as an added safeguard. It took practical 
form in the one gi%at iter of the Committee of Circuit, created 
to deal with the Settlement of the Lands, thd revenue assess- 
ment, and the due organizing of the Courts of Justice. The 
principles laid down for its procedure by the Board of Revenue 
at Calcutta on May m, 1772,^ and the Plan of Justice issued 
by the Committee oilCircuit itself on August 15, from Mur- 
shidabad,^ are the logical development of these clauses of 
Hastings's Proposed Regulations, and taken together, may be 
said to form the Magna Carta of the native subjects. Experi- 
ments though they were, the lines are laid down in them upon 
which British administrators have since proceeded, and in 
many particulars by an unbroken succession. The precision 
and insight which characterize these Regulations help to 
explain the amazing volume of the work which Hastings was 
able to accomplish in the two short years 1772 and 1773, 
before his powers were crippled by the arrival of the new 
Councillors appointed under the Regulating Act. The direc- 
tions from home had indeed indicated the chief objects of 
reform, but suggested no method of attaining them, and the 
tangle of abuses was left to Hastings to unravel and set in 
order. As he wrote to his able Councilloa^ Barwell,* ' The 
new government consists of a confused heap of undigested 
materials as wild as the Chaos itself : the Collection of the 
Revenue, the provision of the Investment, the administration 
of Justice (if it exists at all), the care of the Police are all 
huddled together — we have them all to separate and bring into 
order at once. We must work as an arithmetician does, with 
his Rule of False, adopt a plan upon conjecture, try, execute, 
add and deduct from it till it is brought into a perfect shape.' 
But to work thus, by means of experiments, was the very way 

1 I. O. Records, Range 67, vol. liv, p. 251. 

* /. 0. Records : Comm. of Circuit, vol. i, p. 181. 

* Gleig, vol. i, p. 316. 


of all others most apt to lay Hastings open to blame for all 
failures, whil6 his successors would be the men to reap thh 
praise for his slowly ripening successes : as he said himself, 
' If we escape censure, we have little ground to hope for 
applause '. Yet in the first dispatch which the Directors 
addressed to the President and Council in iCply to news of the 
reforms, that namely of April i6, 1773,^ they did applaud and 
commend him for judgement and prudence, and 'a constant 
and steady endeavour to effectuate every good purpose . . . for 
the advancement of the Company's intr^*-est and welfare ', and 
promised their firmest protection for VV such further mea- 
sures. How far that protection was extended to Hastings on 
his return after thirteen devoted years history relates. 


The documents illustrative of this chapter fall under two 
main heads : — 

I. The Directors' expressions of dissatisfaction with the 
condition of Bengal under the Dual System, and their 
schemes of reform. 
II. Hastings's opinions on the same subject ; his plans for 
reform and his * Proposed Regulations '. 

N.B. — ^The Directors* views are to be found in papers 
addressed to the three Commissioners dispatched in 1769, and 
in further dispatches to the President and Council. Of these 
the following ar^ the most important for any student of the 
period. Certain of them have been published in Gleig's 
Memoirs of W. Hastings or in scattered fragments in the 
Reports of the Parliamentary Committees. I have endea- 
voured in my illustrations to supplement these with such 
unpublished materials as in themselves give a complete pre- 
sentation of the situation. 

I. List of the most important Dispatches sent in the 
Years 1769 to 1773 by the Court oe Directors to 
THE President and Council of Bengal. 

♦Sept. 15, 1769 . Instructions to Commissioners. 

* ,, ,, ,, . Letter President and Council. 

♦March 23, 1770 . ,, ,, Commissioners. 

^ /. 0. Records : Bengal Dispatches, vol. vi, p. 515, 


♦March 23, 1770 . Letter to President and Council. 
•*June 27 „ 
♦April 10, 1771 

n 25 „ 
Aug. 28 „ 
Dec. 18 „ 

>> >> >) »> >» 

>> >» n >> >» 

. Private Letter to W. Hastings. 
March 25, 1772 . Letter to President ar\^i Council. 
Nov. 24 „ 
Dec. II ,, 
April 7, 1773 . 
„ 16,1773^ f 

No. I. Instructions to Commissioners, 

[The following is Hastings's summary of the Instructions, 
supplemented where it seemed advisable from the Home Series 
of 1. 0. Records by portions of the full text of the original 
Instructions or by a summary of clauses omitted by Hastings. 
All such additions are distinguished by round brackets.] 

British Museum Add. MS. 29130. 

Dated London, September 15, 1769, and received in Calcutta per E. I. 
Company's ship Lord Holland in December 1771. 

Objects to be sought by the Commissioners: — 

1. * The Company's prosperity and perfect harmony between 
yourselves . . . the restoring of Peace in India upon a solid and 
permanent Basis providing for the honor and security of our 
. . . ally Mohamed Ally Cawn, Nabob of Arc6t. 

2. Views of the Company confined to the preservation of the 
revenues of Bengal and their present possessions. 

(2. ' The Dewanni of Bengal, Bahar and Orissa with the 
Possessions we hold in those Provinces are the utmost Limits 
of our Views on that side of India. On the Coast the protec- 
tion of the Carnatic, the Sircars, And on the Bombay side its 
dependencies, Salsette, Bassein, Surat. The protection of these 
is easily within the reach of our Power, and may mutually 
support each other without any Country Alliance whatever. 

1 This is the first reply to reports from W. Hastings. Of these docu- 
ments Nos. I to 3 are to be found in the /. 0. Records : Home Series, vol. 
204 ; the rest in Bengal Dispatches, vols, v and vi. 

Abstracts in W. Hastings's handwriting of those marked * are in the 
British Museum Add. MS. 29130. 


If we pass these bounds we shall bo led on from one acquisition 
to another till we shall find no Security but in the Subjectio'n 
of the Whole, which by dividing your hous {sic), might lose us 
the Whole, and end in our Extirpation from Indostan.*) 

3. No treaties with the Country powers to engage the Com- 
pany either immediately or eventually in their disputes. 

(4. If war is inevitable <the preservation and security of 
Bengal is of all others the most important object.) 

(5. Northern Circars — not the wish of the Company to keep 
armies there but farm them out.) 

6. Allahabad and Corah to be preserved to the King or an 
equivalent given him to his satisfactiqf 

7. Not to embark in any expedition^ ^1 his account at the 
hazard of our troops and possessions. 

(8. Salsette and Bassein title to be procured if possible by 
treaty with the Marattas.) 

(9 and 10. Blank Phirmaund for the Deccan to be returned 
to the King, etc.) 

(11, 12. Replacing Military or Civil Servants to be cautiously 
done and to be by seniority usually.) 

13, 15 and 16. A speedy and strict inquiry into the adminis- 
tration of Justice enjoined, and into the nature and constitu- 
tion of the Zemindary and Cutchery Courts, to be reformed 
and altered if necessary. 

(14. The five per cent, tax on justice. In particular we 
direct that the practice of withholding or taking five per cent, 
upon the recovery of Debts, in any Court of Justice whatever 
for the use of the Company, or on any other pretence, be 
totally abolished.) 

(15. We much wish to obtain security for the properties and 
persons of the Natives ; and to that end, we desire you will 
make full enquiry into the nature and constitution of the 
Courts of Zemindary and Cutchery, or other Courts wherever 
our Possessions or Revenues extend, and that you will endea- 
vour to reform all such abuses as shall have found their way 
into them, to the oppression of the Natives ; and we desire you 
will use them for rendering their Properties less precarious, 
and their Possessions more permanent.) 

(16. In case the constitutions of the above-mentioned 
Courts shall be found defective, we desire you will use your 
best endeavours to obtain all proper and necessary reforma- 
tions and alterations therein ; or if you shall judge it expe- 
dient, you are to procure Phirmaunds from the King, or the 
Country Powers, for erecting and establishing new Courts of 
Judicature, respecting both Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction.) 


17. An enquiry to be made into the application of the 
Nabob's revenues and restitution and satisfaction ordered to 
be made where necessary. 

18. The immense salaries and allowances to Mohamed Reza 
Cawn another subject of consideration. 

(19. The exorbitant interest which the Tenants and Land- 
holders are compiled to pay f(5r small sums, necessarily 
borrowed by them, in order to enable them to pay their rents, 
appears to us to be a well-founded and grievous complaint, and 
we desire you will pay great regard towards obtaining a remedy 
for it, which we appreh^d may in a great measure be done, by 
altering and regulating Mie periods of payment of the rents and 
revenues, if that mea.i^e shall be thought by you expedient.) 

20. No man's estate to be confiscated or seized after his 
death as in the Moorish times. 

21 and 22. Trade to be left free and unrestrained. 

(23. Silk to be procured for the Investment, * a great 
national object * that we may be able not only to vie with 
but to obtain a preference of the foreign imported'silk '.) 

(24. Silk in Rungpore and Ophium to be acquired [for the 
trade to Balambangan in Java].) 

(25. The scarcity of silver, whether due to export or ' from 
the fatal consequences of the Gold Coinage '.) 

26. An enquiry into monopolies to be set on foot, particu- 
larly in the article of cotton, because there was information 
against Mohamed Reza Cawn on that head. 

27. Recommends an enquiry into trade of Salt, &c., with 
orders to dismiss from the service every one concerned in it in 
a manner contrary to repeated orders. 

(. . . It excites our utmost Indignation to find, that great 
fortunes have been acquired by persons in 'our Service, in 
Trades carried on in direct opposition to our express injunc- 
tions and commands ; and as we cannot too severely punish 
such contumacious practices, we desire you will endeavour to 
discover the principal actors and abettors in these acts of 
disobedience, and upon due proof, that you will not only 
dismiss them from our service, but that you will take all legal 
measures to obtain satisfaction to the Company in the Courts 
of Justice in India, and in cases where the evidence may not 
be found sufficient or effectual to procure redress and satis- 
faction, by the strict rules of law there, that you will transmit 
to us the fullest and most explicit proofs of the facts, which 
you are capable of obtaining.) 

28. An enquiry to be made into the enormous expence of 
the military establishment and into contracts for supplies. 

15ZG.9 IT 



29. For the better management of the revenues it is recom- 
mended as a prudent measure that * There should be a Residefrt 
with a Council or proper assistants at the Chief places of 
Collection, who should have power to conduct and regulate the 
mode and charges of Collection and reform all abuses therein 
and to whom the complaints of the Inhabitants may at all 
times find free access *. ^ 

N.B. — ^This paragraph does not appear to agree with para- 
graph 79 of the Letter to Commissioners of date March 23 
following, where the principal reason assigned for the resi- 
dence of the Council at Calcutta is, that they may be able to 
apply to this very business, here sujf osed to rest with the 
Councils on the spot ? Does not the lal^^^upersede the former 
regulation ? ^ 

30. No trade to be permitted to any servant employed in 
the Collection of the revenue. 

[31 to 34 relate to the Country Powers, Carnatic, &c.] 
[35 relates to negligence in book-keeping.] 
[36 orders surveys and maps to be made.] 
[37 to 47 deal with the authority, duration, &c.j of the 

No. 2. Letter to the Commissioners, dated March 23, 1770. 

[This document is compiled like the preceding one from the 
two sources, (i) Hastings's Abstract, British Museum Add. MS. 
29130, and {2) /. 0. Records, Home Series, vol. 204, p. 36.] 

[Paragraphs i to 68, Carnatic affairs.] 

[69, 70. Deputation to Suja u Dowla, presents given exces- 
sive and costly.] 

[71 to 78. Scrutiny ordered into various particulars.] 

79. Trade in Qetelnut and Tobacco to be laid open to all 
persons, European as well as Native, and expected to be so 
regulated as to yield a duty of £120,000 p. a. 

(79 and 80. [Trade to be free] . . . ' for these and other special 
considerations (we) have resolved and do hereby appoint that 
the Governor and Council do always remain at Calcutta, 
subject to exceptions hereafter mentioned '.) 

(81. That with the Governor and exclusive of the Military 
Commander the Council is to consist of 9 Members and no 

[82. Excepts General Coote.] 

(83. * We further direct that such Members of Council who 
are at present Chiefs of Patna, Cossimbazar, Dacca or Chitta- 
gong, and likewise the Resident at the Durbar.^be recalled and 
* This note is by W. Hastings. i. e. at Murshidabad. 


that in future no Member of the said Council be permitted to 
att as Chief of any of the above Factories subordinate to the 
Presidency of Bengal, but if you shall be of opinion that it will 
be for the interest of the Company that one of the Council 
should reside at the Durbar, we give you power to order it, 
but in that case we direct that such Councillor be always the 
next in succession t% the Governo?.') 

(84. * And that neither of the Officers of Export and Invest- 
ment, Warehouse-Keeper, &c. ... or any other office or place 
in the Company's service,,1S:c. . . . shall in future be annexed to 
the station of a Member of the Council at the said Presidency ; 
who occupying no pos Awhatever, are to form themselves into 
Committees, agreeab^^^o the plan hereafter mentioned.' . . .) 

85. [Refers to the foregoing which excludes the Council from 
all employments and says] ' By these regulations the Governor 
and Council will be enabled with more attention to inspect 
into the management of the revenues, to hear the complaints 
of the inhabitants and to redress grievances in the case of 
maladministration of justice, extortions or oppressions of 
any kind. 

86. Our said Governor and Council being thus indispensably 
appointed to control and order every branch of the service, the 
forming themselves into Committees will be more convenient.' 

(86. ' Our said Governor and Council being thus indispens- 
ably appointed to control and order every branch of the ser- 
vice either as a Board or by forming themselves into Com- 
mittees as hereafter directed for that purpose will be more at 
leisure to attend to the Police and Good Government of the 
Settlement and the Provinces, to the hearing and deciding of 
complaints, which they only can do as there are no other 
justices of the Peace in that Country, and to 1:he more speedy 
determination of appeals which come before them as well 
from the Mayor's Court under the Charter as from the Court 
of Cutcherry which determines Civil Disputes between the 
Natives without the Charter.') 

(87. The offices within the Settlement, as Warehouse- 
Keeper &c. as well as the Boards of Revenues and Chiefships 
of the Subordinate Factories, must all be held and managed by 
the Senior Servants of the Company under the Council with 
the Salaries hereafter mentioned, but such perquisites, (if any) 
are to be abolished which oppress the Natives, or materially 
affect the interest of the Company.) 

(88. [A good effect likely to result,] for when reports are 
brought to a Board by Members themselves belonging to that 
Board . , . the inspection is less vigorous, than when they sit 



altogether as a Board of Control, having no concern them- 
selves in the Offices to which such reports relate. . . .) ^* 

(89. 'It may be objected that this plan will deprive the 
Council of the advantages of trade which they enjoy by their 
stations at the Subordinate Factories and Residencies in the 
Country. ' If it is true, that the Chiefs of particular Districts 
have kept the whole trad^ to themselves; it is a monopoly 
which has our, disapprobation and must be at all events 
entirely abolished, and we apprehend this will be most effec- 
tually done by making it the interest of the Council not to 
suffer such undue practices, and the Council, though resident 
in Calcutta, are to pursue and to mair/ dn their right to trade 
in every part of the. Country, so as nmJ^'^^ interfere with our 
Investment, and we empower them to prevent the Out- 
Factories from interrupting the trade in any manner under the 
severest penalties.') 

90. A new allowance of i,5oor. p.a. to each Councillor will 
with their Salary, Diet and Allowances and the share in the 
Commission on the revenues, now increased to 2|-, with the 
advantages of trade altogether compensate for their Diminu- 
tion of emolument from the new regulation. 

[90. Emoluments to be for the Council i,5oor. p.a. each 
with salary, diet allowances, and two shares in the 2^ Com- 
mission on the revenues, with commerce in all the country and] 
(* their trade from port to port in India.') 

[91. Servants below the Council to take charge of the 

[92. With the usual emoluments, except perquisites injuri- 
ous to the country.] 

[93. These being under the Council all occasion for parade 
is abolished.] ^- 

94. The four Chiefs at the Durbar, Cossimbazar, Dacca and 
Patna to be allowed salaries of 2,000 r. each p.a. and no 

95, 96 settle the manner of forming the Committees of the 
Council. The Committee of Revenue is to consist of Four. 
To this belongs examination of the books and accounts of all 
the Collections, including Burdwan &c. They are to remark 
excesses and savings, point out neglect, misconduct or merit, 
to see that we neither abuse or are abused by the Renters, to 
form regulations for the improvement of the revenues, and all 
grievances and oppressions arising in any shape from this 
branch or from any concerned in it to be heard and redressed 
in this Committee. Notice of this last regulation to be given 
in the public bazaar once in the year by beat of drum. 


[96. List of the Committees to be created : — 
• A Committee of Treasury as before. 

A Committee of Revenue; * under this department there 
will be : the Collectors of Revenue at the Durbar, Burdwan, 
Midnapore, Chittagong and the Calcutta Pergunnahs, the 
Collectors General and the Custom Master.' 

A Committee of 'Commerce of ft)ur members (' under their 
jurisdiction will be all the Subordinates except, what concerns 
also the Warehouse- Keepers; it must be their province to inspect 
that every Chiefship procures the Investment assigned . . . 
that the private trade in Salt, Betel and Tobacco be free equal 
and open to all withovfjidistinction, subject to all duties which 
may be levied on b'*\3Rf of the Company . . . and that they 
encourage the vegetation of saltpetre and the poppy.' ' Con- 
nected with this Board are : — ^The Subordinates, the Export 
Warehouse Keeper, the Import Warehouse Keeper. And by 
this Committee all grievances and complaints of the Natives 
and others regarding trade, shall be considered and redressed, 
and to be published and posted up in the same manner as is 
directed to be done in respect to the Committee of Revenue.') 

A Military Committee. 

A Committee of Accounts ; . under this come the Accountant, 
the Buxey, the Mint and Assay Masters.] ' 

No. 3. Hastings's abstract of the Directors' Letter of March 23, 
1770, to the President and Council. 

British Museum Add. MS. 291 30, p. 9. 

[The only important paragraphs are 54, which prescribes 
the freedom of trade in Salt, Betel and Tobacco, and the two 
given below.] , 

179. Council to consist only of Nine — The Council all to 
reside at Calcutta, except the Resident at the Durbar and the 
General — no member of Council to have any employ — but the 
Offices to be held by the next in Rank — The Council to be 
formed into Committees. 

180. The Governour — the Commander-in-Chief — and three 
Senior Councillors to be a Select Committee — Powers of the 
said Committee — to make regulations respecting Peace and 
War and negotiate with the Country Powers, but not finally 
to conclude any Treaty, until the Terms and Conditions of such 
Treaty shall have been first approved by our Governour and 
Council — The Governour singly shall correspond with the 
Country Powers ; but all letters before they shall be by him 
sent, must be by him communicated to the other Members of 


the Select Committee and receive their Approbation and also 
all Letters whatever which may be received by the Governoiir 
in answer to or in the course of his Correspondence shall 
likewise be laid before the Select Committee for their Informa- 
tion and Consideration, and all proceedings and Correspon- 
dence must be regularly entered on their Consultations, and 
sent home in Duplicate. < * 

[The letter of June 27, 1770, is comparatively unimportant,] 

No. 4. Hastings's Abstract of the Letter of April 10, 1771, 

British Museum Add. MS. 20130, p. 12. 

Para, 25. Dysticks to be abolished. 

27. No Petty Chokeys to be allowed. 

28. The nine General Chokeys for the Circars to be con- 
tinued, and a person to reside at each on the part of the Nabob 
with Company's servants as Duans. 

30. Other European nations to pay at the general Chokees 
as usual and nothing more. 

34. Orders to revoke the Prohibition of Trade with Suja 
Dowla's Country. 

64. * It is with pleasure we observe that the Appointment of 
Supravisors to examine into the State of the provinces (under 
the Instructions which our late President has with so much 
Judgement and Fulness laid down for their Guidance) may be 
productive of so general a Reformation of the Abuses which are 
the immediate Objects of our concern ... we wait with Impa- 
tience for the Issue of the Supravisors' researches in full Hope 
that our President and Council will have adopted such Measures 
as shall unite our Views not only for the Company's interests 
but for the good^of a Country from which we receive so great 

66, 67. Ballances due by Mohamed Reza Cawn as Renter of 
the Chuckla of Dacca to be enquired into . . . 
[Other clauses unimportant.] 

[This letter being the most important, a summary of its 
subject-matter is appended.] 
I to 8. Shipping details. 
9 to 21. Investment, &c. 

22 to 31. Government, Justice, Free trade, Dustucks, and 


32. Compensation by certificates to servants. 
33 to 35. External trade with Oude, &c. 
36 to 51. Reductions required in salaries, Mohamed Reza 
Cawn, &c. 

52 to 55. The French, Jaghirdars, &c. 



56 to 62. Fortifications and military affairs. 
> 63. Coinage. 

64 to 66, Arrears recoverable from Mohamed Reza Cawn. 
67 to 80. Affairs of certain Servants. 

81 and 82. Loss of the three Commissioners surmised, the 
Instructions in that case to be carried out by the President 
and Council. (j 

83 and 84. Recall of Free Merchants to Calcutta ordered. 

85 to 89. New clauses to the Covenants, to pi'event intrigues 
with the Country Powers. 

90 to end. Military matters. 

No. 5. Genenu^etter to President and Council, 

British Museum Add. MS. 29130, p. 14. 

[The next important letter is that of August 28, 177 1. It is 
given in the form of Hastings's abstract, with the addition of 
the full text of special passages, taken from the I. 0. Records : 
Bengal Dispatches ^ vol. vi, pp. 10 1, &c.] 

General Letter by the Greenwich, received August 6, 1772. 
[From Hastings's abstract.] 
August 28, 1771. 

I. General information of advices received from India. 
[2 to 6. Shipping.] 

9 to II. Observations on the unhappy state of the Country 
during the dearth. 

[12. Enquiry and dismissal of offenders enjoined.] 

13. Disapprobation of the Perwannahs granted by Reza 
Cawn, and other circumstances relative to th$; Salt monopoly. 

14, 15. Warm expostulations [concerning the above]. 

16. Recommendations to secure the Salt, Betelnut and 
Tobacco Inland trade free from the inconveniencies of mono- 
poly ; with orders to dismiss such of the Company's servants 
as act in violation of the Company's pleasure in these parti- 
culars, and on the like occasions to withdraw the Company's 
protection from such Europeans as are not in the Service. 

17. Directions to send an annual account of the Salt made 
throughout the Provinces. 

18. Reproof on Reza Cawn's conduct during the famine. 

19. Commands to examine into the balances due from 
Reza Cawn. 

20. Suspicions of mismanagement respecting the Dewanny 

21. Company*s determination to take charge of the 


Revenues. Authority given to divest Mohamed Reza Cawn 
and every person employed under his influence of any f urthcijr 
charge or direction in the business of the Collections. 
20. [From the Bengal Dispatches.] 

(When we expected that the influence and protection of 
the Company would have had such happy effects throughout 

increase in the revenues of the Dewanny, We cannot but be 
deeply affected'to see ourselves disappointed in that reason- 
able expectation and to experience such a reverse as now 
appears by the great Diminution of those Revenues, parti- 
cularly in the Province of Bahar. Ind-^ed, when we turn our 
View to the flourishing State of Burdy^j^ and the increasing 
revenue of that Province under the immediate Inspection of 
our servants, We cannot but conclude that the diminution of 
the Dewanny Revenues must have been owing to the mis- 
conduct or malversation of those who have had the Super- 
intendency of the Collections. But as we have further reason 
to suspect that large sums have by violent and oppressive 
means been actually collected by Mohamed Reza Cawn on 
account of Dewanny Revenues, great part of which he has 
appropriated to his own use or distributed among the Crea- 
tures of his Power and the Instruments of his Oppressions, 
We should not think ourselves justified to the Company or the 
Publick were we to leave him in future the Management of the 
Dewanny Collections ; and as the transferring the like Trust 
to any other Minister could yield us little Prospect of reaping 
any benefit from the change, We are necessitated to seek by 
other means the full Advantage we have to expect from the 

(21. It is therefore our Determination to stand forth as 
Dewan and by tfie Agency of the Company's servants to take 
upon ourselves the entire Care and Management of the Re- 
venues. In confidence of your abilities to plan and execute 
this important Work, we hereby authorize and require you to 
divest Mohamed Reza Cawn, and every person employed or 
in Conjunction with him, or acting under his Influence, of any 
further Charge or Direction in the business of the Collections ; 
and we trust that in the Office of Dewan you will adopt such 
Regulations and pursue such Measures as shall at once ensure 
to us every possible Advantage and free the Ryotts from the 
Oppressions of the Zemindars and petty Tyrants under which 
they may have been suffered to remain from the interested 
Views of those whose Influence and Authority should have 
been exerted for their Relief and Protection.) 

the Provinces of Bengal as ;would 




22. [Hastings's abstract continued.] 

9 Information to the Board of the commands to the President 
for a scrutiny into Mohamed Reza Cawn's conduct. Restitu- 
tion to be made of all sums which have been withheld or em- 
bezzled from the Circar or Company. 

23. Orders for an examination into Mohamed Reza Cawn's 
management of tjie trust he held under the Nabob, and 
of the application of such sums as passed through his 

24. To choose a successor to Mohamed Reza Cawn as the 
Minister of the Government and Guardian of the Nabob's 
minority. ,rA 

25. Allowance tQ^jJRe Minister not to exceed 3 lacks of 

26. Orders for the Minister's delivering an annual account of 
such sums as are paid by the Company to the Nabob. 

27. Relative to prior orders, respecting the removal of the 
Members of the Council from the Subordinate Factories, 

28. Seniority occasionally to give way to merit. 

29. Reference to Letter of March 23, respecting full informa- 
mation and guidance on the subject of Monopolies. 

30. Recommendations of economy for the benefit of the 
Company and their servants. 

31. The Company's servants below Council who act as 
Chiefs of Factories to be considered as Residents only. 

32. Matters relative to the above business. 

33. The General Books of each Factory, the Buxey accounts, 
and all subsidiaries to their several charges, to be forwarded 
annually to the Directors, and positive orders that the ser- 
vants at the Subordinates do not fail to specify the most 
minute Articles. « 

34. Rebuke respecting non-compliance of the Company's 
orders for forwarding the General Books of the Subordinates. 

35. Warm remonstrances on opening the Treasury in con- 
tradiction to positive orders. 

36. The Company's resolution to make their Servants 
accountable for the evil effects which may result from their 
disobedience to their orders respecting the Bills of Exchange. 

37-39. Captain Affleck's case in a Bill of Exchange. 
40, 41. Condemnation of measures respecting Bills of 

42. The Treasury to be reimbursed for losses owing to the 
above abuse, with severe orders respecting such of the Council 
as may have been engaged in that business and have with- 
drawn themselves from the service. 


43. Expostulations on the Dewanny Revenues not answer- 
ing the expectations of the Company. 1 

43. [Full text of important passage, taken from the /. 0, 
Records: Bengal Dispatches^ vol. vi, p. 139.] 

(While we were in full expectation of reaping all the advan- 
tages we had in prospect from the acquisition of the Dewanny 
Revenues, and which were tbecome the mt re essential to us 
from our Compact with the Public for a Participation of those 
Revenues, how greatly must we be alarmed at seeing the 
Dewanny Collections scarce answering any other purpose than 
Defraying the Civil and Military Charges of our Presidency of 
Bengal. Indeed, nothing but the mosl .unhappy Experience 
could have led us to suppose that theVivnount of those Re- 
venues would not have been sufficient both for the Charges of 
your Presidency and the supplying us with annual Investments 
equal to our Engagements with the Publick, the Expectation 
of the Proprietors, the Provision of Exports, and every other 
Demand to which the Company is subjected. But what must 
be our surprise to find, that the Collective Amount of our 
Revenues in Bengal are so far from yielding us Returns ade- 
quate to our indisputable Occasions, that a considerable Part 
of your Consignments of the present Year has been purchased 
by Interest Notes given for the amount, notwithstanding you 
had received into your Treasury, for Draughts on the Court of 
Directors, sums equal to the whole of those Consignments.) 

(44. Whatever may have been the Causes which have 
brought on such Effects, the Consequences are equally alarm- 
ing to us, and as we learn from your late advices that the 
Decrease of Revenues and the Increase of Charges will not 
permit us to hope a speedy remedy for the Evils with which we 
are threatened We cannot but turn our View to the Commis- 
sion which we have permitted to be drawn on the Nett Terri- 
torial Revenues, and should we continue to experience that 
your resources are inadequate to the Expectations we had 
formed of them We shall find ourselves under a Necessity to 
withhold from our servants those gratuitous Rewards which we 
were induced to grant them in the full and reasonable hope 
that their Care and Attention would ensure to the Company 
all the Advantages expected from the possession of the 

44. [Hastings's abstract continued.] 

Continuation of the above censure with a hint of their with- 
drawing their gratuitous rewards from their Servants in case 
of non-amendment in their conduct. 

45. Observations relative to the Incursions of the Marathas. 



The Company's intentions to communicate as early as possible 
their resolutions relative to their carrying their arms beyond 
the bounds of the Territories belonging to their Allies. Their 
approbation of the Council's conduct relative to the invasion 
of the province of Korah by the Marathas. 

46. Approbation of Captain Harper's conduct, with their 
desire for his continuance in his present station. 

47. Circumstances relative to Mr. Forbes [§cc.]. 

48. Acknowledgement of advices received. Their deter- 
mination to remunerate such of their Servants whose conduct 
and standing in their service merits their approbation. 

49. Salary and em^Jjuments granted to Messrs. Higginson, 
Dean & Bowey dis^uiwed, with an order for them to repay 
such sums as they may have received in consequence of the 
indulgence. And in default those who were present when the 
order was established to refund the same. 

50. Order to fill the vacancy in Mr. Bolts's stead. 

No. 6. General Letter of March 25, 1772, to the President 
and Council. 

[The Letter of March 25, 1772, contains some passages 
severely censuring Cartier's administration.] 

J, O. Records : Bengal Dispatches, vol. vi. 

While your conduct in resuming the Jaghire which the late 
Rajah Doolubram enjoyed in the Province of Bahar and in 
referring to our determination the Petition of his son to succeed 
to his father's appointments, has at once discovered a com- 
mendable regard to our interest and respect to our authority, 
we have cause to complain of your having canitted to furnish 
us with the means of judging. . . . We are highly displeased at 
your disobedience to our orders of March 23, 1770, respecting 
the reimbursement of all such sums, which had been paid by 
our servants out of the commission of 2^ % to such persons, 
to whom we had not thought fit to assign any share thereof. . . . 
We hereby renew and confirm the same [orders]. . . , 
In order to discover the causes and prevent the continuance 
of an evil which is become intolerable to us, [the military 
expenses of Fort William having grown to more than double 
those of Fort St. George] it is our positive command that you 
forthwith investigate the military charges of your Presidency, 
even to the most minute particular, and should any abuses 
or mismanagement appear in conducting the business of this 
department, we expect and require that you not only inflict 


due punishment upon all persons who shall have offended in 
this respect, but that you take all proper measures for putting 
an end to such practices in future. 

The great increase which has of late appeared in the civil 
charges of your Presidency will not suffer us to suppress our 
displeasure at the little attention there seems to have been 
paid to our repeated orders ^or retrenchingf^very superfluous 
expense. For tjiough your civil establishment has been con- 
siderably augmented since our possession of the Dewanny, we 
do not conceive it possible that your charges could have swelled 
to so great a degree had our Governor and Council been atten- 
tive to their duty and regulated the e| senses of your Presi- 
dency by a proper and requisite economy^,. As from the effects 
we have so severely felt from the insufficiency of your resources 
to answer the expectations we had been led to form from our 
late acquisitions in Bengal, we cannot rest satisfied under the 
present charges of your civil establishment. It is our positive 
commands that you enter into an immediate examination of 
every particular article of your disbursements relative thereto 
and we expect and require as you regard the continuance of 
our favour, that you do not permit the least superfluous 
charge or unwarrantable allowance to add to a Burthen which 
necessarily lies heavy on us. And we further direct that you 
send us by the earliest opportunity a full and particular state 
of the several charges of your civil establishment for the last 
year, digested in like manner as we have directed in respect to 
your military, that we may be enabled to discover whether the 
enormous extent of those charges is the necessary consequence 
of your Establishment or whether we can apply a remedy to an 
evil which threatens to deprive us of all benefit from the pos- 
sessions we have acquired in Bengal. . . . 

Having reason to believe that sundry of our writers and 
junior servants do by reason of their extravagance and dissi- 
pation contract large debts which they are unable to discharge 
and that they attempt to screen themselves from actions at 
law by obtaining leave to reside at places where the jurisdic- 
tion of the Mayor's Court does not extend, we cannot but be 
anxious to prevent a practice equally unjust in itself and 
injurious to the honour of our service, and as we deem such 
servants utterly unworthy our favour and protection, it is our 
positive command that if any of our Junior Servants shall by 
endeavouring to avoid prosecution from their creditors, be 
unable to attend the duty of their stations they be immedi- 
ately dismissed our service, and sent to Europe, and we expect 
and require that you use every legal means in your power to 



secure their effects for the benefit of their said respective 
Creditors. . . . We must declare that if you neglect to forward 
to us by the ships of the ensuing season compleat copies of all 
books and accounts of the Society of Trade, from its institution 
to the closing of the monopoly, we shall not only manifest 
that displeasure which wilful disobedience shall deserve, but 
require you to indemnify the Coriipany for any loss they may 
sustain by not receiving the necessary infor^nation on this 
subject. Besides the books and accounts of the said Society of 
Trade it is our express will and pleasure that you ascertain to 
us by letter and statement in the best manner you are able 
the amounts of all ^'Mt bought up by any members of the 
said Society of Trau^^hether jointly or separately between 
August 12, 1765 and March i, 1766, as well as for every 
succeeding year, specifying the names of buyer and seller, and 
the quantity of salt bought and sold as aforesaid, in all cases 
in which such accounts can possibly be obtained. In order to 
this you will call before you the Banyans and other public 
servants of those persons who composed the first Committee of 
Trade, and all other persons whom you may deem able to 
elucidate the transactions hereby referred to your investiga- 
tion. You are to take care that the examination of all such 
persons be made in the most accurate manner and so authen- 
ticated as to be of use in a Court of Judicature in England in 
case we should have occasion to make such use thereof. . . , 

No. 7. General Letter of April 7, 1773, to the President and 


[The following Letter is included in this appendix because 
it relates to the period of Cartier's Government, to which the 
censures contained in it apply. The last advices from Cal- 
cutta to which it refers were those of March 1772, conveyed in 
the East India ship Rochford. Hastings's rule began on April 9, 

7. O. Records : Bengal Dispatches, vol. vi. 

Para. 19. We cannot but be sensibly affected at finding that 
neither the instructions we have given you nor the means you 
have taken for the provision of our Investment have hitherto 
produced any solid or effectual regulations. The plan we 
transmitted in April 1771 is declared by you to be impractic- 
able, and yet in the forming of it we had been aided by those 
who had filled the highest stations and had recently returned 
from Bengal. Our object in this plan was to connect the 
Company and all others, Natives as well as Europeans, in one 


common interest, and by relinquishing every claim to prefer- 
ence from our power or influence, to establish liberty and free*- 
dom of commerce throughout the Provinces. And although 
this design has proved unsuccessful we have the satisfaction 
to reflect that it must ever remain a testimony to our inten- 
tional justice and humanity. But we must here observe that 
your reply per Rochford to ofer orders on thft head, is not alto- 
gether satisfactory to us. We consider so important a subject 
to require a deeper discussion than what you appear to have 
given it ; for we cannot but conceive that the principal causes 
of the failure of our Investments might have been fully traced 
and the means applied for removing etf >y obstruction. And 
therefore in the present distressed situ^on of the Company 
and with the public eye upon our conduct we are determined 
to investigate this and every other branch of our affairs with 
the most minute exactness which the materials before us 
will admit. 

Para. 2i. We wish we could refute the observation that 
almost every attempt made by us and our administration at 
your Presidency for the reforming of abuses has rather increased 
them and added to the miseries of the country we are so 
anxious to protect and cherish. The truth of this observation 
appears fully in the late appointment of Supervisors and 
Chiefs instituted as they were to give relief to the industrious 
tenants, to improve and enlarge our investments, to destroy 
monopolies, and to retrench expenses, the end has by no means 
been answerable to the institution. Are not the tenants more 
than ever oppressed and wretched } Are our Investments 
improved } Has not the raw silk of the cocoons been raised 
upon us 50% in price? We can hardly say what has not been 
made a monopoly^ ; and as to the expenses of your Presidency, 
they are at length swelled to a degree we are no longer able 
to support. 

These facts (for such they are) should have been stated to us 
as capital reasons why neither our orders of 1771 nor indeed 
any regulations whatever could be carried into execution. 
But perhaps as this would have proved too much, it was not 
suggested to us ; for nothing could more plainly indicate a 
state of anarchy, and that there was no government existing 
in our servants in Bengal. 

Para. 22. When we directed a general freedom of Trade, it 
was not possible for us to suppose that the French and others 
would be suffered to exercise every act of oppression over the 
weavers, and by force compel the delivery of their manufac- 
tures. Yet such facts appear on your records and should have 



been exposed as other strong proofs that the Company's 
Ihivestment must necessarily be loaded with the refuse and 
ready money goods. Sorry we are to say that silence upon 
this subject is by us too well understood, and although it may 
reflect upon the conduct of many of our servants, we cannot 
but enquire how the French, without money or influence, fill 
their ships with -Ihe prime and* valuable manufactures of 
Bengal, and from whom they draw such Ic^rge and to us 
ruinous resources. 

Para. 23. And therefore when oppression pervades the whole 
country, when youths have been suffered with impunity to 
exercise sovereign i'jjisdiction over the Natives, and to 
acquire rapid fortun«ji%y monopoly of commerce, it cannot be 
a wonder to us or to yourselves that Dadney ^merchants do not 
come forward to contract with the Company, that the manu- 
factures find their way through foreign channels, and that our 
Investments are at once enormously dear and of a debased 

Para. 24. It is evident then that the evils which have been so 
destructive to us lye too deep for any partial plans to reach 
or correct. It is therefore our resolution to aim at the root of 
these evils : and we are happy in having reason to believe 
that in every just and necessary regulation we shall meet with 
the approbation and support of the Legislature who consider 
the public as materially interested in the Company's prosperity. 

Para. 25. In order to effectuate this end, the first step must 
be to restore perfect obedience and due subordination to your 
administration. Our Governor and Council must reassume 
and exercise their delegated powers upon every just occasion, 
punish delinquents, cherish the meritorious, discountenance 
that luxury and dissipation, which has to^the reproach of 
Government prevailed in Bengal. Our President, Mr. Hast- 
ings, will we trust set the example, upon which much will 
depend. And here we take occasion to indulge the pleasure 
we have in acknowledging Mr. Hastings' services upon the 
coast of Choromandel in constructing with equal labour and 
ability the plan which has so much improved our Investments 
there : and as we are persuaded he will persevere in the same 
laudable pursuit through every branch of our affairs in Bengal, 
He, in return, may depend on the steady support and favour 
of his employers. 

Para. 26. Your Settlement being thus put into a train of reform 
(without which indeed all regulations will prove ineffectual) 
you are next to revert to the old system when the business of 

* Vide p. 37. 


your Presidency was principally performed by our own ser- 
vants, who then had knowledge of our investments and ever^'' 
other department of our concerns. You will therefore fill the 
several offices with factors and writers upon your establish- 
ment, for with our present appointments we are assured these 
will be sufficient for this purpose, and thus you will banish 
idleness and its attendant e:j{travagance antf dissipation. And 
here we enjoin,.you to transmit to us a faithful and minute 
state of the pay and every known emolument of all 
below the Council — for it is notorious that even youths in our 
service expend in equipage, servants, dress and living infi- 
nitely more than our stated allowancerf^in afford ; we cannot 
but be anxious to discover the meaiW- by which they are 
enabled to proceed in this manner. And indeed so obnoxious is 
this conduct to us, and so injurious in its consequences, that 
we expect and require you to show your displeasure to all such 
as shall transgress in this respect, combining it at the same 
time with instances of kindness to the sober, frugal and 

Para. 27. The monopoly of commerce by the Chiefs, &c., at 
your Subordinates has been a severe reflection upon the Admin- 
istration in Bengal — for we conceive it impossible that such 
practices could have been long concealed, and it was in the 
power of the Board to apply a remedy by recalling and sus- 
pending the delinquents. But we trust you will not in future 
be under the necessity of exercising your authority for the 
abolition of this evil, and that this once effected will be a great 
and essential step towards the improvement and extension of 
our investments ; especially if you follow it with complete 
protection to the weavers and merchants — and here we direct 
that you suffer n*u persons of any nation whatever to trespass 
upon the rights and dominions of the country, of which we 
declare ourselves the Guardians and Conservators — and since 
the power of the Government must continue with the Nabob, 
you will request him to confine foreigners within the limits of 
their firmaund — and therefore as the French cannot have 
a right you will, to the best of your power, prevent them from 
imprisoning and maltreating the weavers or any others under 
the protection of the Circar. If the French at any time think 
themselves aggrieved, they may as heretofore apply to the 
Nabob for redress, and should they disobey and spurn the 
orders of Government (as we find by your records they have 
ventured to do), it rests with the Nabob to act by them 
agreeably to the practice of his predecessors. 

Para. 28. Having as we conceive fully investigated the causes 

LETTER OF APRIL i6, 1773 i45 

of the failure of our Investment in goodness, price and quality, 
afid much to our concern proved also that almost every 
stream has been polluted, we now arm you with our full powers 
to make a complete reformation. The task we are sensible 
will be arduous, but we rely on your zeal for the service of the 
Company, and as we have the satisfaction to assure ourselves 
that you will not ni^use the powei-fe that we have delegated to 
you, we hesitate not to promise you our entine support and 

Para. 29. And having already revoked our regulations and 
orders of March 23, 1770, we now so far suspend those of 
April ID, 177 1, as to I' We the whole open to every alteration 
you may judge necesuaTy and fit to make. 

[Paras. 30 to 44 unimportant.] 

Para. 45. As the sending our Junior Servants into the Pro- 
vinces has not been attended with the wished for success, but 
has enabled them to monopolise the whole trade of the Country, 
we direct therefore that they may be withdrawn as soon as 
possible, and we leave it to you to substitute some other plan 
for making yourselves acquainted with the exact value of 
every district, and for giving relief to the inhabitants, till we 
shall be able to send you complete regulations for conducting 
this branch of our affairs which we have now under consi- 

[N.B. — In view of the charges brought against Hastings for 
subverting the whole system of the revenues in his Five years 
lease Settlement, it is noteworthy that the above passages are 
a sufficient justification. It may also be observed that the 
promise of the last sentence was never fulfilled, and the Cal- 
cutta Government were left to carry out the changes without 
further guidance.] * 

No. 8. Letter of April 16, 1773. 

[This first reply to advices of Hastings's Government is 
short and hurried, but contains cordial approval of the 
measures reported up to the date of September 5, 1772. 
One passage may be cited.] 

/. O. Records : Bengal Dispatches, vi. 515. 

We cannot omit the present opportunity to express the 
satisfaction which we receive from that readiness and zeal for 
our service with which you have united with our President, 
Mr. Hastings, in carrying into execution those essential objects 
which from the nature of them, we judged it necessary con- 
fidently to commit to his immediate care and conduct. 

1526.9 r 


II. Hastings's Views and Plans. c 

[These documents arc taken from among the Winter Collec- 
tion of Hastings's papers at the British Museum. Most of 
them are extracts from private letters to individual Directors.] 


No. 9. Letter to Mr. Purling, Chairman of the Court of 
*■ Directors, 177 1-2. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29217, p. 5. 

March 22, 1772. 

. . . Other evils call aloud for rcOTess, which affect the 
honour, justice and vital interests of the Company. The 
remedy is easy and obvious, but I fear the peremptory com- 
mands of the Company oppose the application of it. The 
younger servants of the Company are the sovereigns or Pro- 
consuls of the several divisions of the Province. They are the 
Collectors of the revenue, distributors of justice and rulers of 
the people. They are subject to the control of the Chiefs and 
Councils of Moorshedabad and Patna. These Boards, exclu- 
sive of the weak authority (if in fact it be not a mere name), 
which they hold over the supervisors, have other rights and 
powers of government in their own hands, and they are 
accountable to the Presidency, which I affirm to be literally 
devoid of all power and authority beyond the narrow limits 
of the town of Calcutta. Such is the present system of the 
government of Bengal, in which all trust, power and profit are 
in the hands of its deputies, and the degree of each propor- 
tionate to their want of rank in the service. 

The effects <5f such a system may easily be conjectured. 
I cannot affirm them, nor do I give credit to the universal 
report, or the daily clamours with which I am stunned from 
crowded supplicants for justice. Where an excess of power 
is lodged in the hands of an individual, I must of course con- 
clude that an ill use is made of it. It will be the case in 
99 instances, though one in a hundred may escape it, because 
every dependent of the Great Man shares his authority, and 
has an interest to make him inaccessible to the complaints of 
those who suffer by their abuse of it. The obvious remedy to 
those evils is to redeem the authority of the Government by 
abolishing the Boards of Revenue, recalling the Supervisors, 
and bringing the Collections to Calcutta. But this is imprac- 
ticable. The Company's orders forbid it, and with the recent 
example of my predecessor, who was dismissed, and two other 



members who were removed for opposing the establishment of 
ti!is system, I have not the courage to touch it.^ 

Such palliations, however, as may secure the Company's 
income or alleviate the disorders of the country, I hope to be 
able to supply, the rest must depend on the future regulations 
of the Court of Directors. 

I beg leave to rep'feat my assuraiTces that your nephew shall 
receive from me every mark of friendship which I can show 
him. I was much alarmed at a complaint which was lately 
made to the Board against him and another gentleman, accom- 
panied by one of the most florid and scandalous productions 
I think I ever read. ^Aean the letter of Major Grant, a man 
whom I have ever esiic?emed from an opinion of his goodness, 
candour and moderation. I suppose it will find its way to the 
newspapers, for which it is admirably calculated, and as it is 
big with insinuations, mysterious allusions and assertions of 
universal oppression, no doubt it will be greedily catched at by 
the multitudes who are ever ready to swallow every invective 
against the Nabobs of India. 

I was surprized and concerned to find on my arrival that the 
King 2 still continued to receive the tribute of the provinces. . . . 
I think I may promise that no more payments will be made 
while he is in the hands of the Mahrattas nor, if I can prevent 
it, ever more. Strange ! that while the revenue of the pro- 
vinces is insufficient for its expenses and for the claims of the 
Company and our Mother Country, the wealth of the province 
(which is its blood) should be drained to supply the pageantry 
of a mock King, an idol of our own creation ! but how much 
more astonishing that we should still pay him the same 
dangerous homage while he is the tool of the only enemies we 
have in India, and who want but such aids t(t prosecute their 
designs even to our ruin. . . . 

... as it is impossible for a state to subsist long where the 
dependents of the Administration are possessed of all power 
and the Administration of responsibility without power ; and 
as I cannot conceive that such was the intention of the Court 
of Directors, my intention is — if I am supported by the Board 
— to attempt such a reformation as the necessity of the Com- 
pany's affairs shall require, and the letter and evident spirit 
of their orders shall justify — I solemnly declare that I speak 
my real judgement when I say that the lowest of the super- 
visors is a man of more trust, dignity and consequence than 
the Governor of Bengal. 

^ But see end of letter. ^ i. e. the Mogul. 



No. 10. Letter to Mr. Colebrooke, Chairman of Court of^^ 
Directors 1772-3. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29127, p. 15. 
March 26, 1772. 

Conse- I am yet in that station'bn this establil5iment in which the 
quence of commands of the Company have first placed me, and I fear I 
tfer's^cori- ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ which I am destined to sustain something 
tinuance. heavier for the accumulated business of the present interval 
of suspense and inaction, the necessary consequences of an 
authority which is on the point of exj^ring. I have had time 
however to look about me and to contelliplate the scene before 
Present me. A few words I believe will suffice to describe it. The 
Revenue^ Government of this Country consists of three distinct powers, 
* the Supravisors, the Boards of Revenue at Moorshedabad and 
Patna, and the Governor and Council at Calcutta. The order 
in which I have named them is not accidental but consonant 
to the degree of Trust, Power and Emolument which they 
severally possess. 

Supra- The Supravisors were originally instituted for the purpose of 
visors. inspecting into the Collections, the Execution of Justice, the 
Government and Capacity of the several Districts of the two 
Provinces and to report their Observations from which the 
Board was to form a Code of Regulations for the better 
Government and Improvement of the country. This design 
was at least laudable. If it produced no Good, it could do no 
Harm. But it is long since the original institution has ceased, 
which perhaps is yet a Secret to the Court of Directors for the 
same set of men continue in the same Districts, to which the 
idea naturally Connects itself that they are still employed in 
collecting materials of speculation to be hereafter reduced to 
practice for the encrease of the population, the advancement 
of culture and manufactures, the enlargement of revenue, and 
the equal administration of justice to the inhabitants of the 
provinces. No, the Supravisor is the sovereign of the division 
over which he presides. He farms the lands to such persons as 
he judges most deserving preference in the distribution of 
them or to those whom he chooses to favour. He collects the 
rents. He is the Chief Magistrate. 

As he is absolute and it is the invariable consequence of 
despotism that every inferior agent is equally despotic with 
his principal and most commonly governs him also, the Ban- 
yan is in fact the lord of every supravisorship. ... All the 
business of the District passes through the hands of the 



Banyan to his master. He chooses and nominates all the 
oitier servants and of course has it in his power to shut out all 
access to the Supravisor. No complaints therefore or appli- 
cations can come before the latter without the permission of 
his Maitre de palais. I do not assert that this is the case, but 
I have already received complaints from all quarters, which 
agree in this description and I think it impossible but that 
such effects must follow from such causes. Were the Banyan 
himself the appointed tyrant of the country, there would be 
less danger of his abusing his power to a great excess, because 
being responsible and having no real dignity or consequence 
of his own, he might b.'rj|asily called to an account for his con- 
duct, and made to suff dl^or it. But as his master is the respon- 
sible person, he is encouraged to go to what lengths he pleases 
in the certainty of impunity ; and I am sure he will go to all 
lengths ; because he has no tie or principle to restrain him. 
The best have none, but these are commonly the lowest of the 
people, who have fixed themselves to the Supravisors when 
they came first into the country and have risen to promotion 
with them. The Supravisor is often supported by strong 
connections either in the Council or in the Court of Directors, 
and they are placed both by their pretensions in the Service 
and the manners of their country so nearly on a level with 
those who should be their judges that they are secure from 
a very rigorous scrutiny into their conduct and totally exempt 
from the fear of punishment. ... I am told also that the 
trade in every district is engrossed by the Supravisors, but 
more especially rice and the other necessaries of life. It is 
certainly in their power to engross them and you may judge 
whether they do not. I beg leave to refer you to the list of 
the covenanted servants for the ages of these,ii*ilers of the land 
and for their length of standing in the service. ... At the 
same time, in justice let me add that they are in general com- 
posed of the best of the Company's servants and such as I am 
acquainted with amongst them I know to be men of worth 
and ability. 

The Supravisors are immediately accountable to the Boards 
of Revenue at the two capitals,^ that is, they receive orders 
from them, make reports to them, and send them the accounts 
of the collections with the accounts. 

The Board of Revenue hath likewise the Government of the 
City and Management of the Land adjoining to it, that is they 
are the Supravisors of these districts, but in this charge the 
Naib Suba is joined to them and as far as I can learn is the 
1 The two capitals, Murshidabad and Patna. 

ters of 

able to ye 
2 B''». of 

B^'. of 
joined to 
ye Naib 


acting person. This is the state of the Board of Revenue at 
Moorshedabad. I do not know whether that of Patna diffeis 
from it. These Boards are accountable to the Presidency, 
that is they transmit their accounts to it, receive their orders 
from thence, founded upon such materials as the Presidency 
is furnished with from them. 
Gov. & It will be difficult for me to tell you wkat arc the duties of 
Duties ^^^^ Government. I can only speak of what I have seen. 

I have been h'ere now 6 weeks and I have joined with the 
Board in inspecting Raw Silk and Piece goods, in despatching 
a vessel to England, in negotiating the terms of a contract 
which did not take place with the DaJ>f cy merchants, in cen- 
suring a Captain of a ship for turningfiKjut his chief mate, in 
attending to a violent contest (in which I had happily no 
share) about a dismissed Alderman of the Mayor's Court, and 
in receiving from the General of the army the report of orders 
which He had given for the disposition and movement of 
troops . . . and of the political measures which He had thought 
proper to pursue. Do not take my word for this abstract of 
the acts of this government but be pleased to peruse our 
records of the interval which I speak of — ex pede Herculem — 
I am much mistaken if you find the rest more important. A 
Its impo- member of the Board lately declared to me he could not send 
tency. agent into the country for the purchase of a single article 

in it, without applying to the Supravisor for his permission ; 
and if it was granted it was looked upon as an encroachment. 

I have not yet been able from want of leisure from daily 
avocations and perpetual interruptions, which in my present 
situation I can only avoid by flight — to study the orders 
which the Company have given concerning the mode of ad- 
ministering the<r , affairs ; but I will not believe that they 
meant to invert the principles of government, to give all trust, 
power and emolument to the inferior members of the service, 
and charge the first persons in it with responsibility alone. 
Proposed The remedy which I wouldrecommend to these distractions is 
Remedy obvious and simple. It is not to introduce fresh innovations, 
poSiFfor t)ut to restore the government to its first principles. To recall 
w(hat) in the Supravisors, nor suffer a Christian to remain in the country 
p(ar)t beyond the bounds of the Factories. To abolish the Boards 
p°ace Six of Revenue. To bring the Collections to the Presidency and 
y»» after make it the capital of the Provinces. It is the capital of the 
y« Abol". British dominions in them, and as the British power supports 
Mofusul ^iid rules the country, that part of it, wherever it be, from 
English whence that power issues is the natural seat of government — 
^o\v\ to substitute any other in its stead, is to surrender the rights 



and authority of government with it, and to lay the sure 
^undation of anarchy and universal rapine. 

These are the remedies which naturally present themselves to re- 
for the present disorders. Many other correspondent regu- 
lations will be necessary, but not one perhaps which the co^stitu- 
original constitution of the Mogul Empire hath not before tion. 
established and ad^opted and thereby rendered familiar to the 
people. But it is unnecessary to mention them because none 
of them can be now carried into execution. ' 

All that can be attempted at this time, will be to alleviate 
the effects of the present system. To change so much of it 
as shall be found hur^iul to the Country or prejudicial to the 
Interests of the Coii^^ny and to establish such partial and 
Temporal Regulations as the Letter and evident Spirit of the 
Company's Orders shall admit of, for the Ease of the Inhabi- 
tants and the Improvement of the Revenue. The same 
Expedients will serve for both. 

Such thoughts as have occurred to me already upon this Sep.^ 
subject I will immediately submit to your Inspection in their ^^s"*- 
present crude and imperfect State, that you may be early 
acquainted with the principles and measures on which I wish 
to proceed. With this view I send you a paper of Regulations, 
which I propose to lay before the Board for immediate execu- 
tion — They have already undergone some correction, and 
may possibly receive an entire new Form before they are com- 
pleted, as I am little more than the compiler of other men's 
opinions, if I may not assume a greater degree of merit in 
saying that I have fancied expedients for the removal of evils 
pointed out to me by the experience of others. There is an 
immediate necessity for some Regulations, as this is the 
Season — indeed it is almost past — for making a new Settle- New 
ment for the Collections of the Year. Ine Company have, 
as I recollect, recommended the letting of the Lands to Farm 
on long leases. This is undoubtedly the most effectual and 
easy way of securing and ascertaining their value. But what 
Farmer will dare to offer proposals if the Supravisor's Banyan 
is to be his Competitor, or what offers will be made by any 
without first consulting the pleasure of the Supravisor and his 
Ministers, and without allowing large Discounts from the 
Rents for Fees, and the losses which are to be expected from 
the Exactions and violence of Seapoys and the perpetual inter- 
vention of higher Authority } 

It is necessary therefore in the first place to give the Farmer 
an interest in the care and improvement of his Farm, by 
letting him hold it for a term of years. The next step is to 


encourage him to offer a sum adequate to the real value of 
the Farm, by assurances and engagements of protection an^- 
undisturbed possession. The best caution is to guard the 
Tenant against the arbitrary exactions of the Farmers. 
These are the grounds on which the sketch is formed which 
I now send you.^ It will require no other general comment. 
If in transcribing it I find itirequires any p^irticular Explana- 
tion it shall be added. 

I hope I shalf meet with no Opposition to the introduction 
of these, or other Laws as good, from the Members of the 
Council. I think they contain the sentiments of most of 
them. ^ 

III. The Proposed Regulations. 

[Two copies of this document exist. One isamongOrme'sMS. 
papers in the India Ofhce Library, ' Bengal ', vol. 41. The 
other, which I have here transcribed, is in the Hastings's MSS. 
at the British Museum. It is the more correct copy of the 
two, and includes certain passages — part of Reg. i and the 
whole of Reg. 3 — which have been crossed out, but remain 
legible. These passages are indicated in the transcript by 
round brackets. It contains invaluable notes in Hastings's 
hand. In the index to the I. O. copy Orme has inserted a note 
describing these regulations as 'composed by Mr. Hastings, 
I believe about the year 1765 '. 

The internal evidence, however, though it is in no one 
instance absolutely conclusive, compels me by its cumulative 
weight to question this suggestion and to assign the document 
to the spring of 1772 for the following reasons. 

In 1765 Hastings had quitted Bengal, and neither he nor 
Vansittart appears to have contemplated a return with supreme 
power : it is unlikely that he would at that time have produced 
such a scheme. The details of many of the regulations seem 
to indicate a later date. 

Reg. I. Provides that the Council shall consist of 12 mem- 
bers ; this has been omitted, and no number fixed. Now in 
the Directors' dispatches of March 1770 and April 1771 relat- 
ing to this subject a contradiction occurred and the doubt 
continued in the summer of 1772. Again, the practice of 
acting by Committees did not arise before this date. 

Reg. 3. The note to this regulation refers to instances of 
military influence on the Council. In 1764 there was no such 

1 This is the 'Separate Regulations p. 268, on which the Settlement 
Regulations and Plan of Justice {vide Chapters VIII and IX) were based. 


instance. In iyyi-2 there was constant friction with Gen. 

Reg. 6. It was impossible that the ' general cucherree ' 
should be moved to Calcutta as long as it was the instrument 
of the Nawab's Ministers at Murshidabad, or be ' under the 
Direction of the President and Council ' until the Company 
stood forth as Diwan, i. e. Aug. 1771. 

Reg. 7. This measure appears to have been first advocated 
by Clive in 1768, but was not carried out even by 1772. 

Reg. 9. The suggestion that Magistrates should be appointed 
by the President and Council would have been impossible so 
long as the screen ofij-Mie Nawab's authority was preserved, 
i. e. until 1772. InQiMed, the whole of these regulations are 
based on the assumption that native authority is to be 
replaced by that of the Company. 

Reg. 10, The above statement is reinforced by this. The 
Government was deliberately eschewed by the Directors in 
1765 (vide Chapter III). 

Reg. II. The Committee of Circuit fulfilled this suggestion. 

Reg. 12 (i). Only the open assumption of the Diwani made 
it possible to discuss the method of raising the land-rents. 
12 (iii). This was carried out in the five-year lease system. 

Reg. 13. This change was decreed in No. 20 of the Instruc- 
tions to the Commissioners, 1769. 

Reg. 14, note. The effect of bringing home the revenues 
could not have been felt by 1765. 

I have therefore treated these regulations as the outline of 
the Regulations for the Land-settlement and the Plan of 
Justice of 1772.] 

No. II. Regulations proposed for the Government of Bengal, 

British Museum Add. MS. 29203. 

I. The Council shall (consist of the President and Twelve 
Members, who shall) hold no distinct offices but shall preside 
over the several departments by Committees ; (and the vacan- 
cies shall be filled up by the next in order of the Service.) 

Note. — This is agreeable to the practise of the Court of Direc- 
tors which may serve as a model. It is perhaps the only effectual 
means of keeping up the business in a regular manner, as it will be 
no longer liable to retardment from the sickness or negligence of 
individuals. The members of the Committee will apply them- 
selves to their functions with more cheerfulness when they have no 
arrears of business to interfere with that of the day : and their 
authority will be sufficient to keep those who are entrusted with 


the execution of their orders to their duty. The Zemindari ^ may 
be an exception to this rule as this office has the charge of the 
police, which requires a person of experience and authority tC 
superintend it. 

[These Notes are all in the handwriting of W. Hastings.] 

2. The Governor shall be President of every Committee and 
Commander-in-Chief of th^ army whethef in the field or in 
garrison : all military commissions shall be granted in his 
name, and officers shall receive their orders from him only. 
In military operations and treaties with foreign powers he 
shall have a negative voice but shall undertake nothing with- 
out the consent of his Council. In otfc[,; affairs he shall have 
only a casting vote. 

Note. — It may be necessary to remark upon the distinction 
here made between the authority of the Governour in civil and 
in military or political affairs, that in the former he has only the 
right of inspecting into every branch of state, which is customary 
and indeed necessary, as he is more especially intrusted with the 
charge of Government than any other. The latter requiring 
always a steady and fixed plan, often great secrecy and experience ; 
and the nature of military discipline making it difficult to be main- 
tained, where obedience is exacted by a body variable in its mem- 
bers and differing in opinions, these powers appear indispensably 
necessary to enable the Governour to support the executive parts 
of Government. But it must be expected that a discretional use 
only be made of those powers, and that he do nothing contrary to 
the advice of his Council, or without their participation, except on 
urgent occasions. 

(Reg. 3. No Military Officer, the Governour excepted, shall 
sit in Council, unless when summoned to give his advice con- 
cerning military affairs. 

Note. — It h^?. hitherto been usual for the actual Commander of 
the Army to sit always as a member of the Council. I can form no 
better reason for this, than that such a compliment (if it can be 
called one) having been paid to some officer of distinguished merit, 
it may have thence crept into a custom. But besides the incon- 
sistency of his profession with the affairs of the revenue or com- 
merce, it may be added from the experience of some late instances, 
that the influence of military officers on our Councils is veiy much 
to be dreaded, it being their interest to keep the forces under their 
command always employed in the field : and few men are proof 
against the united temptations of Honour and Fortune.) 

[This entire regulation has been crossed out and would 
therefore not have effect, but it is interesting as a statement of 
Hastings's views.] 

* The Zemindari referred to is that of Calcutta, of which the Council had 
charge, one of its members acting as Zemindar. 


Reg. 4. The Council shall always reside at the Presidency, 
lexcept on special occasions such as Deputations, or other 
extraordinary commissions. 

Note. — The necessity of this regulation will appear from a 
retrospect of the numberless complaints of the oppressions of our 
agents, which may be looked upon as the final cause of the war 
with Mir Cossirn and of the unhjjppy divisions in Council which 
preceded it. Where men can act as they please with impunity it 
may be concluded that they will be guilty of ..oppressions. The 
consequence is unavoidable because the majority will be swayed by 
motives of self-interest and the few who are more equitably dis- 
posed will be drawn in by example. Such is the case with the 
agents or gomastahs fif the Company's servants, dispersed in all 
parts of the provij of Bengal ; independent of the officers of 
Government and armed with the authority of their masters, they 
are subject to no control. 

Their distance and the natural timidity of the people of the 
country, makes it difficult to enquire into the truth of the facts 
alleged against them. Their masters, whose immediate duty it is 
to bring them to justice either from a natural partiality to their 
own dependents ; from the fear of involving their own affairs ; or 
of lessening their own profits, which too frequently arise from the 
same lawless influence ; are almost always their advocates and 
abettors, when they are accused, and are ever the last applied to 
for justice because it is concluded their agents do nothing without 
their direction or connivance. They are piqued at an appeal from 
their justice, and resent it on the complainants, who lie in a thou- 
sand instances at their mercy. Every individual in the Council, who 
are the judges, feels himself in the same situation with respect to 
his own agents and is consequently led to discountenance or 
discredit a complaint which may next be produced against himself. 
And if any one of them from superior views of public spirit shows 
himself too forward in examining into their grievances, he infallibly 
exposes himself to the jealousy and enmity of the rest. His zeal 
for justice will be imputed to selfish views and exaggerated recri- 
minations will be brought to prove it. It must be noted here that 
though the Council consists usually of 12 nrwikibers, 7 of these are 
always absent at the several chiefships to which as the places of 
profit the rest aspire. This consideration added to the smallness 
of their number and the little respect which the chiefs of the 
subordinate factories which engage the largest shares of the trade 
of the country pay to the authority of a Board consisting of their 
equals or inferiors in rank is the principal cause of the consequence 
which has been described above. An absolute remedy to this 
evil is not to be expected. One advantage of the proposed regula- 
tions is that the inland trade which is almost wholly confined to 
the subordinate factories will be necessarily drawn to Calcutta, 
where the several members of the Company having no natural 
rights above each other, it will be easier for them to adopt a plan 
for an equitable regulation of that trade, and the natural jealousy 
with which we behold the successes of others, especially one 
inferior in rank, will prove a most effectual check on those who 
are left to conduct the affairs which must be carried on at a dis- 
tance from the Presidency. 


As an additional argument for this regulation, it may be observed 
that, as upon the present system it is for the interest of the absent^ 
members (who are the majority of the Board) to weaken its 
authority, which may be hurtful but cannot be beneficial to them, 
so by the proposed alteration they all have every inducement to 
unite in the support of their common rights, and of the powers 
by which they hold them. This will give a dignity to the Board, 
and add respect and weight t^ all their resolutions. 

5. The Subordinate factories shall be put upon a footing 
with the Aurungs and the Investment provided by Residents 
appointed from the Junior servants of the Company, with 
a writer as an assistant to each, where the business may 
require it. ^ 

Note. — This is a consequence of the preceding regulation. It 
is proper also because the Investment which is the business of these 
factories, is now but a secondary object of the Company's atten- 
tion ; neither perhaps was it ever the better conducted for those 
expensive establishments. 

It may be necessary to except from the two preceding regula- 
tions, the Factor}'- of Islamabad, which in consideration of its 
distance from Calcutta and the advantages which may be derived 
from it as a port for shipping, may continue a chiefship under the 
direction of the Council. 

6. The Collections of the Revenue shall be left in charge 
with the natives of the country and carried on by cucherries 
established in each Moza,^ Pergannah/ Circar,^ dependent one 
on the other, and lastly responsible to the general cucherree, 
which should be in Calcutta, and under the immediate Direc- 
tion of the President and Council. 

Note. — There are many reasons for excluding the Europeans in 
general from a share in this business. The other branches of the 
Government and Trade will be sufficient to employ all the cove- 
nanted servants c^t^the Company, and to admit other Europeans 
would open the door to every kind of rapine and extortion. Men 
of the basest kind and worst principles would creep into office. 
Whatever embezzlements, whatever oppressions they were guilty 
of, it would be impossible to bring them to justice, because they 
are protected by our laws which cannot take cognizance of cases 
depending perhaps on the particular customs and rights of the 
country, or incapable of being decided from the difficulty of obtain- 
ing such proofs as the tenderness of our laws requires. There is 
besides a fierceness in the European manners, especially among 
the lower sort, which is incompatible with the gentle temper of the 
Bengalee and gives the former such an ascendant as is scarce 
supportable even without the additional weight of authority. 

By the principles of justice the inhabitants of every country are 
entitled to a share of its emoluments, and happily the dictates of 
reason and sound policy, concur in giving this privilege to people, 

1 These divisions answer nearly to Tithings, Hundreds, and Counties. 
Note by Hastings. 



whom as our subjects, we are bound to protect, and whose sub- 
X jection is the best pledge for the faithful execution of the trust 
reposed in them. Further reasons will occur in 12th regulation 
which will make it necessary to leave the Zemindar or Landholder 
the choice of his own collectors, since he is to be answerable for 
their conduct. 

But extraordinary cases may happen where Sezawils or Super- 
visors may be ap;^ointed by the Company, in which this rule ought 
to be invariably observed ; nor should the Zemindar himself be 
allowed to retain any European agent in his service. This he will 
hardly do of choice, and the prohibition may be useful to him in 
preventing such recommendations. 

7. No Europeans shall be permitted to reside in the country. 

Note. — This add.»JBn to the preceding article is necessary for 
preserving the quiet of the country and the authority of the magis- 
trate which would be exposed to contempt, were every vagrant 
whose complexion and dress could entitle him to the privileges of 
the English name and influence to mix with the natives, and it 
would be impossible to exclude such were any admitted. 

8. The Mahomatan and Gentoo (i.e. Hindu) inhabitants 
shall be subject only to their own laws. 

Note. — This does not, nor can it preclude the right which the 
Company has to establish new regulations upon any occasion 
where they may be required for the ease of a subject or the better 
exercise or security of the Government. The equity of this pro- 
posal with regard to those inhabitants who reside without the 
bounds of our Settlement will not be disputed. Within the limits 
of Calcutta, where they are intermixed with Europeans, as well as 
strangers of other countries, they must necessarily be subject to 
the jurisdiction of the Mayor's Court. Yet even there the laws 
and customs prescribed by their own religion should be inviolate ; 
and cases of property between one another decided by their own 
Courts. It might be wished that a provision for such a distinction 
might be made by charter, and powers vested in the Zemindar for 
the exercise of his office, which has hitherto iJ^sisted without any 
legal right and is thereby liable to great impediments and dis- 
couragements and even to penalties was the rigor of the law to 
take place against him. 

Many reasons might be urged for limiting the jurisdiction of the 
session courts over the persons of the natural inhabitants. In 
many cases the punishment bears no proportion to the fault, and 
in many others crimes of the highest offence have escaped un- 
punished by the defect of some form required by the tenderness of 
our laws. In a state where every man's property is secured by 
fixed and equal laws every violation of them may be (possibly with 
justice) accounted a capital offence, as aiming at the essential 
principles of civil liberty. But in a despotic government where 
the whole wealth of the nation is engrossed by a few, and the bulk 
of the people are liable to the severest effects of want, the laws are 
usually very gentle against small offences, rarely punishing theft or 
robbery unconnected with crimes of a more dangerous tendency 
with death ; because human nature cannot in all cases withstand 


the provocation to it. But in the same government murder is 
always retahated by death, even the most ignominious and 
terrifying kinds of death. Let the justice of this distinction oi 
punishment be examined by its effects. There are not many 
instances of robbery in India, where these principles prevail, scarce 
any of murder. A traveller may pass through a whole province 
unarmed and sleep in security in the open plain. He will have no 
enemies to dread but the w^ld beasts. Suc]^ being the laws by 
which the people of Bengal have been always governed and such 
their effects tht re can be no great objection to their continuance, 
but there may be a great degree of injustice in making men liable 
at once to punishments with which they have been unacquainted, 
and which their customs and manners have not taught them to 
associate with their idea of offence. a-^ 

There are many defects in the police o^j^xlcutta which ought to 
be remedied, but it is not here that the remedy can be found. 
One instance only, being perhaps the most grievous, may be 
pardoned. I mean the practice assumed by every European and 
the servant of every European, of arresting the person of the 
inhabitants, placing peons (guards) upon their houses, seizing 
boats and inflicting punishments in their own houses many times 
to a shocking degree of barbarity. Every such offence should be 
liable to the severest penalties of our laws, and no man's person or 
effects attached without an order from the 'acting Magistrate, or 
Courts of Justice, excepting in cases of treason or other matter of 
state where a particular power should be reserved to the Govemour 
and Council. 

In a word let this be the working principle in our Government 
of the people whose ease and welfare we are bound both by justice 
and policy to preserve ; to make their laws sit as light on them as 
possible, and to share with them the privileges of our own con- 
stitution, where they are capable of partaking of them consistently 
with their other rights and the welfare of the state. 

9. Magistrates shall be chosen from the natural subjects 
and appointed by the President and Council. 

Note. — This i*t^- necessary conclusion from the preceding regu- 
lations and may be further enforced by the reasons mentioned in 
the 6th and 7th Articles. 

10. All agents and gomastahs whether of private merchants 
or of the Company excepting only the covenanted servants of 
the Company, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the civil 

Note. — Whatever objections might have been urged against 
this claim of the Government when it was in other hands can no 
longer be pleaded now that we have the exercise of it in our own. 
It is impossible for justice to be administered or the peace of the 
country preserved, if individuals are allowed an exemption from 
the authority of Government. Even the exception proposed, 
though necessary will be attended with many inconveniences. 

J I, A certain number of Council shall be appointed to go on 


an annual Circuit through the Provinces with powers to hear 
knd redress grievances. 

Note. — This expedient is barely proposed for consideration. 
It may be necessary during the infancy of our government and 
perhaps in the occasional use of it afterwards, but it is liable to 
many dangerous consequences, in the abuse which may be made 
of such powers, aiji^ in the persona] ^disputes which must arise even 
from the most discrete and impartial exercise of them. 

12. (i) The Rents of the lands shall be all collected under one 

(ii) The lands shall be divided as much as they can be into 
Taaluks. -Tjl 

(iii) The valuatiori'^of the lands shall continue for a certain 
term of years notwithstanding any improvements they may 
receive ; and at the expiration of such terms the lands shall be 
again valued and a certain proportion of the improved rents 
be claimed by the Government. 

Note. — This regulation, though consisting of 3 points, yet as 
they have an evident connection and dependence on each other, 
I have considered as one, and propose only as a general outline 
which is to comprehend all the parts of this various and compli- 
cated subject. 

(i) As an explication of the first head it will be necessary to 
mention that besides the {a) Calsa (rents paid into the King's 
Treasury) and {b) Jaghire Rents (Rents received by the Nazim for 
the disbursements of the State) which are often paid by the same 
person, various taxes have from time to time been levied on the 
subjects under different names {c) as Maratta Chout, Aboab 
Foujdarree, Multout, etc. etc., and by different collectors. This 
is the cause of great vexation to the people and much intricacy in 
the accounts of the Government. It is obvious that by bringing 
them into one amount, and lessening the number of Collectors, the 
people will be eased, the accounts less liable to perplexity, the 
expense of the collections will be lessen ed,'^nd the proportion 
between the sum paid by subjects and received by the Government 
brought nearer to a level. 

(ii) The 2nd Article must be considered with a due attention to 
the natural and just rights of the Zemindar already in possession, 
and can take place only in lands already divided into too minute 
portions ; or in Forfeitures, or in the case of a failure of inheritance, 
such as it is likely may happen to the great Zemindari of Burdwan. 
The great Zemindars have been ever dangerous checks upon 
Government. The expensive state which they have been obliged 
to maintain has constantly eaten up a large part of their revenues 
and for the rest they have most constantly treated with the 
Government rather as tributary princes than as subjects. In all 
invasions and rebellions they have always borne a considerable 
part, as busy abettors to the latter, and secret encouragers of the 
former, the distractions of the state enabling them to withhold 
their rents and increase their independence. This is the state of 
the Zemindars in general throughout Indostan. It is true that in 


Bengal the nature of the country and the manners of the people 
leave it less in their power to make themselves formidable to th^ 
Government. Yet the security of the revenue is a point of such 
essential consequence in a time of war, that every method should 
be adopted that may put it out of the power of the Zemindars at 
any season to contest the claims of Government. The first that 
occurs is that herein proposed of dividing the Zemindaris into 
smaller districts or Taaluks«i Let this be dcyie when it can with 
propriety. The next and only remaining expedient is to join Saza- 
wils or CoUectGiTS with the Zemindars, and to allow no more armed 
forces to be maintained in the Zemindaris than may be necessary 
for preserving the peace of the country and those subject only to 
the Sezawils or other officers of the Government. 

The first actual and open revolt shajd be punished with a 
sequestration of the lands and one such %^mple will be sufficient 
to restrain others within their allegiance. 

After having mentioned the regard which is due to the natural 
rights of Zemindars it will not be foreign from the subject nor 
inconsistent with good policy to propose one exemplary act of 
justice in the restitution of the lands of Murgatcha etc. which 
were violently seized from the Zemindar in consequence of the 
treaty of Plassy and made over as a Zemindari to the Company. 
As the Nabob had no right to decree this unpardonable forfeiture, 
but that which he acquired from the Company by the power which 
they put into his hands, the blame of this act ultimately rests 
with the Company, and their name and credit has suffered much, 
I am afraid, on this account, in the opinions of the natives. The 
restitution of these estates by an authentic order from home, if 
there be an appearance at the same time of a regular and perma- 
nent system of Government will effectually obliterate the odium 
occasioned by their confiscation, and greatly conciliate the affec- 
tion and confidence of the people. The loss of revenue will be 
trifling. We know by long possession the full value of the lands, 
and have a right to the proportion universally established of the 
nett Rents and more than that will hardly be realized by the 
present mode of collecting. It will not answer for the Company to 
descend to so minute a detail of revenues as attending to the 
accounts of all fii^j inferior cutcherries with the variety of little 
duties connected with them. It is beneath the dignity of Govern- 
ment and will take up too much of the time and attention which 
ought to be given to the weightier affairs of the Province. 

(iii) The last and most material part of this regulation is intended 
as an encouragement to the Landholder (by which term I under- 
stand the Zemindar or any other person of whatever degree 
holding lands immediately for Government) to improve his lands ; 
and can serve only as a general idea, many other circumstances 
being perhaps necessary to answer the ends proposed : such as, 
for example, an extension of the term for lands wholly desert, for 
draining marshes and recovering overflowed lands ; a compensa- 
tion for the degrees of expence in the various kinds of improvement. 
On the whole the Landholder should be enabled to see his own 
profits in any charge to which he may voluntarily submit for 
clearing, peopling or improving his lands. By the present irre- 
gular mode of taxation the Landholder labours under every dis- 
advantage, and risks both his estate and personal safety by every 


experiment by which his income may be encreased. The estab- 
llished principle being to tax the Zemindar as far as he can bear to 
be taxed, the greatest oppressions are made use of to impose upon 
him even more than he can bear. The Zemindars dreading an 
imputation of affluence which a punctual payment of their rents 
would occasion and of course an increase in the demands of the 
Government use a thousand shifts and pretences to gain time, 
borrow money of ttJfe Shroffs or Bani^ers at an usury of 20 or 30 %, 
paying through their hands instead of ready money, to confirm the 
deceit ; and I myself have known a Zemindar's Vakeel bring the 
full sum of his rents for payment, yet plead inability and undergo 
a severe whipping (a mode of collection shocking to the English 
manners but usual and I fear necessary in the Indian Courts) 
before he would prods A the money. So absurd and oppressive 
a system cannot but b^F productive of effects equally injurious to 
the People and the State. 

The Zemindars are involved in desperate debts, which the rents 
must pay ; their lands run waste. The tenants are racked till 
they fly the country, the revenues are scantily and precariously 
received and the Shroffs and the officers of the Government by the 
gains of interest or Batta (exchange) and fees become rich with 
the spoils of the public. Let the lands be assessed by a just 
valuation, and the Zemindar will be able to make his payments 
regularly. Let him be freed from the fear of exactions, and he 
will make them regularly. He will practise no impositions on the 
Government. He will not squander away his means in bribes to 
people in office, nor involve himself with accumulated debts of 
interest. His tenants will be freed from oppression. His lands 
will flourish, and the growing rents will abundantly yield to the 
Government and to the Landholder the fruits of the former's wise 
indulgence and the industry of the latter. 

13. The law by which the effects and estates of every 
person in office revert at his death to the Government shall 
be repealed, and the natural rights of inheritance shall be 
substituted in its stead. 

Note. — The law here alluded to is perfectly consistent with the 
principles of absolute government nor in itself unjust. It appears 
to have been constituted as a check to the rapaciousness of those 
who were invested with the powers of state, but it has not usually 
been attended with that effect ; every man possessed of power will 
employ it to enrich himself. His next care is to conceal his wealth, 
which if too conspicuous would render him obnoxious to the 
Government, and to secure it for his family, or as a resource for 
himself against the ill fortune inseparable at some time or other 
from his condition. The policy of these people hath hitherto dis- 
covered no better means of security than the obvious expedient of 
burying their treasure in the earth, which is generally done with 
such caution that none but the owner himself is privy to it, their 
fears not allowing them to trust even their children or next heirs 
with the secret. To the crimes which the concealment of the 
deposit renders necessary, superstition adds others as the means of 
deriving the benefit of it to the designed heir after the death of the 
possessor. By such means the currency of money is impeded and 
1526.9 » 


a great (probably the greater part) of the sums thus concealed is 
totally lost. This may in some measure account for the litt( a 
increase of specie in Indostan, though for this century past such 
quantities of bullion have been annually carried into it and little 
by any visible ways has been exported. 

Having mentioned the ill effects of the law in question, it will ht 
superfluous to point out th^ self-evident advantages which would 
follow the abolition of it. Indeed there can/ibt be a stronger argu- 
ment for its ^abolition than the difficulties and inconveniences 
immediately attending the execution of it. It cannot be supposed 
that the Government is entitled by such a law to the absolute and 
exclusive inheritance of its servants and that their families are 
doomed by it to nakedness and famine. It is to be considered only 
as a discretionary power lodged in thefcinds of the Government 
for its own preservation, to be employlJci with a due and equal 
regard to the rights of nature and public justice. This prerogative 
thus stated may suit the will of a sovereign prince ; but if we apply 
it to our system of Government and frame the idea of a Governor 
and Council sitting in serious debate upon the merit of a person 
deceased and determining from it what share of his estate shall be 
allowed to his children, without any standard of equity or reason 
to regulate their decision, nothing can appear more absurd or 
ludicrous. It will open a door to bribery and oppression from the 
influence which avarice or resentment must sometimes have on the 
minds of the judges and in the vigorous though just execution of it 
may be attended with circumstances that are even shocking to 

14. All duties and imposts shall be taken off and trade made 
free to all people without any distinction of Dustucks, Farms 
or other privileges. 

Note. — The greatest difficulty which the late acquisitions have 
brought upon the Company, is that of bringing home the amount 
of their annual revenue without impoverishing the country by 
draining it of its current specie. The first expedient for removing 
this difficulty i . to invest as great an amount in goods as may be 
disposed of in European markets. But this amount cannot be 
very great ; the trade will not admit of it, the rest must be received 
in specie or employed in furnishing the expense of the China trade, 
and of our other Settlements. A considerable portion of the 
circulating cash will be thus annihilated, and the deficiency must 
by some means or other be supplied or it will be continually 
decreasing till there is a total want of specie, and of course a total 
obstruction to trade and a desertion of the inhabitants. To effect 
this many ways must be tried. The proposed freedom of trade 
appears to be the best calculated for it. The province of Bengal 
from the fertility of its soil, the number and largeness of its rivers, 
its situation and the security which it enjoys from the effects 
of war has greater advantages for trade than any other country 
in Asia. But these advantages have been rendered in a great 
measure ineffectual by the negligence of the Mohamedan Govern- 
ment and by the insupportable oppressions of the numerous 
officers of the customs. The profits arising from this Fund to the 
Government barely exceed the expense of maintaining it, while the 


merchant pays an enormous and uncertain duty (under which head 
$ I rank all exactions of the chokie), is liable to continual stoppages, 
to long and chargeable detentions, and often to personal ill-usage 
and disgrace. 

Were the trade once laid open, merchants from all parts of India 
would flock to Bengal, which furnishes every necessary of life for 
its inhabitants besides the superfluities required by commerce 
and receiving littloin exchange but'ready money, would draw all 
the wealth of Indostan by such inducements into its own channels. 
The merchant freed from the exactions of the collections could 
afford to pay a larger price for his goods and yet be a great gainer 
by the trade. Prices of all kinds of merchandise would probably 
be much increased by this means ; nor will this be an objection, for 
the wealth thus dispe Ad through the country will soon find its 
way to the coffers of tiv?iGovemment by the improved value of the 
lands, and enable it besides to appropriate a large proportion of 
the revenue without diminishing, the currency which is the object 
principally aimed at by this regulation, though the merchant, 
artizan and the whole community would equally feel the influence 
of it. 

I know but two objections that can be made to this proposal. 
One, that it will increase the price of the Company's investments ; 
the other that the Dutch and other European nations, our rivals 
in trade, will buy their goods as cheap as ours, which by the 
immunities granted to us hitherto turn out cheaper than theirs. 
The first conclusion must be granted, but not as an objection to 
the proposal. The point in enquiry is by what means the Com- 
pany may receive the benefit of their own revenues ; not how they 
shall improve their trade. By the method proposed they will be 
enabled to bring home their revenues, but their investment it is 
granted will be dearer. That is, the amount of their income will 
fall short of that received by the former Government (allowing the 
sum paid to be equal) by the difference of the price of their invest- 
ment. But it is to be hoped that their revenue will greatly exceed 
and by this very means, for the reasons given above, that of the 
former Government. 

And if they do not adopt this plan, or som'^ther as effectual 
for drawing money into the country, they cannot benefit by the 
possession of it. It is only the superfluous wealth that can fall 
to their share. The wealth of every state receives its first motion 
from the Government, and concenters in it, but it cannot stay 
there. Such an obstruction would put an end to its existence. 
It cannot be appropriated, but it is the necessary' and inalienable 
right of the country, of which the Government has only the use, 
but this use properly managed may produce an equivalent to it. 

To the second objection it may be answered that it is a point to 
be wished, that the other European companies may acquire benefit 
from our Government, that they may have no cause to regret the 
superiority which we have gained over them. It has been an 
argument employed against the stability of the Company's posses- 
sions, and even to their right to hold them, that it would involve 
the nation in war with the other powers of Europe, whose envy 
would be excited by them, and who would unite to deprive us of 
them. They cannot undersell us ; for whatever be the market 
price of the goods in the first purchase we pay nothing for them 



but the charge of transporting them, and therefore can afford to 
sell them cheap. They purchase them dearer than they former( / 
did, and therefore cannot afford to sell them cheap. 

If it be thought too much to give up the entire profits which the 
Company are entitled to from their duties, yet the present mode 
ought at least to be abolished. They may he collected on the first 
produce, e. g. cloths may be taxed by a fixed rate on every loom, 
a tax easily collected, liabR; to no oppression, and an encourage- 
ment to industry, as the weaver will pay the less in proportion to 
the quantity "of cloth which he works. The duties on tobacco, 
betel nutt, and other products of the earth may be reimbursed by 
an addition to the rents of the grounds on which they are produced. 
And in the same manner the other articles of commerce may be 
charged by a tax on the first productioiA^ hich may be collected by 
the landholder and brought into the geim^l valuation of his lands. 
This method is liable to many inconveniences, but it is perhaps the 
only footing on which the customs can be placed amongst a people 
too much accustomed to the principles of despotism to refrain 
from oppressions where they are armed with the powers of Govern- 
ment, or not to submit to it where such powers are executed 
against them. 

15. The .coin of the Provinces shall be reduced to one 
denominat^ion, and the batta or discount on the coins of 
different years and different Mints abolished. 

16. An alloy of Copper in the proportion of ^ per cent, 
shall [be] mixed with the coins of the provinces. 

Note. — There are three established mints in the provinces, one 
for Bahar at Patna, and two for Bengal at Moorshedabad and 
Dacca : besides a fourth newly established at Calcutta, which 
however useful a few years ago appears superfluous at this time, 
as we have the command of those originally appropriated to the 
Government unless that of Moorshedabad be abolished to make 
room for it. Perhaps the regulation proposed by taking away the 
necessity of frequent recoinage, may make more than one super- 
fluous. And tfc'^t one ought for obvious reasons to be wherever 
the money centers. 

The Sjccas of each Mint are current only in their respective 
districts, being charged with a discount or Batta in the districts to 
which they do not belong, at least this is the case with those of 
Patna and Dacca at Moorshedabad. The Government usually 
allows an equal mixture of each by the name of current Siccas in 
the payment of the rents. 

There are besides other ideal coins established in different places, 
^s Dusmussa Rupees at Moorshedabad, Dusmussa Rupees of a 
different value at Dacca, Ely rupees at Patna, etc. 

The new Sicca or the current coin of the current year is the 
medium by which the rest are estimated. But these again lose 
their value at the expiration of the year, and as they grow older 
are still charged with an increased Batta. And as this Batta is 
neither proportioned to the difference of date nor to the diminution 
of weight by wear, but regulated merely by the capricious wills of 

. ^ Left blaak in original. 


the ministers or the designed impositions of the Shroffs (or bankers), 
the loss of the intrinsic worth of silver is sometimes exceedingly 

Such a variation and uncertainty in the rate of the current coin 
is a great detriment to the country and a benefit only to the 
Shroffs and the officers of the Mint and Revenue, who buy up the 
old rupees at an underrated value and recoin them at a small 
expense into new. Something however, must be lost in each 
coinage and considt:red in a nationaHight the expense of recoining 
them is absolutely thrown away since the Siccas are made no 
fitter by it for public use than before, and the* loss which the 
people suffer by so arbitrary a distinction reverts in the end to the 
Government because it proportionately lessens the value of the 

The design of the f ]At of these regulations (15) is to free the 
accounts of the Government from the perplexity of so many 
arbitrary and unsettled distinctions, and to ease the subject and 
the merchant from an unjust and unprofitable tax, by allowing 
only one coin in the country. Thus the Siccas of this year shall 
retain their value as long as they retain their impressions, and 
the Siccas of the different mints pass indiscriminately through 
every part of the provinces. The practice of reckoning rupees by 
the weight in large sums will be a good remedy against the defi- 
ciency which time and frequent use will necessarily occasion ; but 
to prevent in a more effectual manner such deficiencies it is further 
recommended by the last regulation that a large alloy of copper be 
mixed with the silver for coinage ; the waste which is owing to the 
fineness of the rupees on their present standard justifying in some 
measure the Batta which they are charged with. 

It will besides have another good effect in preventing the 
diminution of the current specie (the first object always of atten- 
tion) as great sums are said to be annually carried out of the 
country to other parts of India on account of the purity of the 
silver, in which the Siccas of Bengal are held superior to those of all 
India. The reduction of the Batta and the mixing an alloy of 9 % 
with the rupees are said to have been objects of the late Nabob 
Meer Cossim, and probably would have been put in execution had 
he retained his ofl&ce, and principally for the r<^ons here given. 



Creation «f the first British InAan State — Governor without exceptional 
powers — He reforms Bengal's relations with : Mogul and Vizier ; Nawab 
and Ministers': institutes inquiries : reforms Military and Civil 

Hastings had to begin his reforms by a complete readjust- 
ment of the Company*s position in fclia. This was hardly 
realized at home. Everybody in England and in Bengal was 
agreed that some change was required, that the Company must 
take over the responsibility for Bengal, and Hastings wrote 
to his employers : ' The affairs of the Company stand on a 
footing which can neither last as it is, nor be maintained on 
principles of private justice. You must establish your own 
power or hold it dependent on a superior, which I deem to be 
impossible.' ^ But while the Directors were so far of this mind 
that they assumed the Diwani, they failed to grasp what that 
office involved. To them the problem was simple ; it meant 
little more than taking up in full an authority they had 
already held in part, and exerting it to punish those who had 
been guilty of oppression or peculation. Since the nominal 
responsibility had hitherto rested on Mohamed Reza Khan 
and Shitab Roy, they made these men the scapegoats and 
ordered their deposition and trial. 

But to the Company's agent in India the problem appeared 
a much larger one, no less in fact than the setting up of a new 
independent State. This would involve at once a revolution 
in internal government and a total readjustment of foreign 
relations. What was the situation ? 

The Company held the Diwani by the Mogul's grant, and 
ruled jointly with the Nawab : yet Kora and Allahabad, the 
Mogul's only territories, he held as their gift, and the Nawab 
continued in possession of office and stipend merely by their 
permission. The Company still owed nominal allegiance and 
» Bengal Letters, vol. ii, p. 47, Sept. i, 1772. 


paid tribute to the Mogul. But this potentate was at Delhi in 
the hands of Sindhia, the Maratha chief, and the tribute of 
feengal as well as the revenues of the two Oudh provinces, 
Kora and Allahabad, ceded to him by Clive in 1765, and 
shortly to be made over by him to his captors, were simply so 
much grist to the mill of our one dangerous rival in India. 

If at last the mJsk of subservience was to be thrown aside 
and the burden of government fairly shouldered, it followed 
that these facts should be recognized and the Mogul treated as 
what he really was, a mere pawn in the hands of the enemy, 
A fact no less obviou j^vas the nonentity of the Nawab. His 
support or protection lapsed, as it had derived from that of his 
suzerain, and no new system could be lasting which did not 
face and admit the true state of things. 

In the internal ggYernmejit, again, Hastings saw a hundred 
difficulties which the Directors ignored. / Standing forth as 
Diwan was not so simple as a mere replacement of native by 
English officials or an Indian by an English code of law and 
taxation. ZTo begin with, the guilt of the native executive 
was by no means clear, nor was it clear that Englishmen were 
as yet competent to supply their places.^ Mohamed Reza 
Khan had co-operated loyally with Francis Sykes in efforts to 
stamp out the inland trade and to bring to justice recalcitrant 
Zemindars and aumils, and it was at least doubtful whether the 
charges against him of monopolizing grain were not mistaken. 
Shitab Roy had an even clearer record to show. Yet there 
was undoubtedly truth in the contention thjytoo much power 
had been lodged in the hands of individuals, and, further, it was 
fairly certain that such magnates would not step quietly down 
to a lower place or acquiesce readily in English supremacy, ^or 
could a thoroughly English system be enforced, Hastings saw 
that it would conflict at a hundred points with the customs of 
the ancient Indian society on which it was to be imposed. He 
was persuaded that the modes of land-tenure, of taxation, and 
of justice must continue to be native in principle and in form. 
He declared that the reforms needed were no more than 
a return to the_best usages of Mogul rule.^ But to conduct 
■ Vide Letter to Colebrooke, p. 1 5 1 


such an Indian system by means of an English personnel 
would be difficult, if not impossible. Not that he doubte^ 
their good faith or willingness. He had already a group ot 
men about him interested in the welfare of Bengal, and asking 
nothing better than to bring order out of the existing chaos, 
but they lacked as yet the^intimate knowledge of native law 
and custom necessary for success. Every department would 
require radical' overhauling and reorganization, and it was 
essential that changes should be effected with a tact and skill 
which could only come from full insierht into and sympathy 
with native traditions.) The problem %^"iich confronted Hast- 
ings was vaster and more complicated than his employers 
realized. He stood practically alone to deal with it, and the 
authority entrusted to him was little more than nominal. In 
the first few months of office he was handling all these internal 
and external problems at once and found them * as confused as 
Chaos itself '. They must, however, be examined separately, 
and the question of the relations with the * Country powers ' 
comes naturally first. 

In June 1772 Hastings left Calcutta and went up to the 
old capital, Murshidabad, whence he could examine the 
state of the provinces and also be in touch with the northern 
frontier. The root of the whole tangle lay in the relations of 
the Company to the former rulers of Bengal, and to secure 
sound internal reforms he must first regulate those relations. 
(He saw that the recognition of the Mogul was a mere anachro- 
nism : the trea^ based upon his sovereignty had lost its 
sanction when he lost his independence : allegiance had 
become a dangerous farce and the payment of tribute drained 
Bengal of its currency. Hastings resolved to throw off the 
allegiance and save the tribute for his employers, who had 
already authorized such a step:^ He has been attacked for this 
measure, and his own justification of it deserves study.^ This 
resolution was soon tested. At the end of the year 1772 the 
Mogul sent a vackeel with the customary presents of ' two 
changes of raiment ' and an order for the tribute. Hastings 

* Strachey, Rohilla War, p. 59 : * In the King we have another idol of 
our own creation,' &c. 


tells how he received him : * As I see no use in excuses and 
|vasions which all the world can see through, I replied to the 
peremptory demand of the King for the tribute of Bengal by 
a peremptory declaration that not a rupee should pass thro* 
the provinces till they had recovered from the distresses to 
which lavish payrnents to him ha^ principally contributed.' 

By this measure Hastings stopped one channel of loss to 
Bengal and gain to the Marathas. It remain'ed to divert the 
second, and to build a firm rampart against them in an 
alliance with Oudh. 

The Directors in tl. Wr ' Instructions ' deprecated the forma- 
tion of any treaties or alliances as likely to entangle them in 
the quarrels of the native powers ; but they had insisted that 
the prime object of policy was the security of Bengal, and 
Hastings held that this could not be maintained unless Oudh 
became a barrier against the Marathas. But at this time the 
province of Oudh, regarded as a buffer state, had two weak 
points. In the first place, the fact that its southern districts, 
Kora and Allahabad, the high road from Delhi to Patna, had 
been detached from it and made tributary to the Mogul, who 
Was unable to defend them, undermined the Vizier's position 
and made a gap in the rampart at the point of chief strategical 
importance. To the north Oudh marched with the lands of 
the Rohillas, an Afghan race of freebooters. Unstable in any 
case, they were in the spring of 1772 at the mercy of the 
Marathas, who had just captured their capital, Sekketoul. 
The Vizier was thus liable to be taken between two fires and 
could be of little value as an ally, unless by acquiring both 
these districts he'could secure the sound, natural frontier of 
the Ganges stream along his whole western front. The 
revenues of Kora and Allahabad, if restored to him, would both 
ensure his loyalty and also be withheld from the Maratha war- 
chests. Thus Hastings found it incumbent on him, while 
profiting by the grant of the Diwani, to undo the work of 
Clive as much in external engagements as by the overthrow 
of the dual system of internal government, and his letters 
to his great predecessor reflect this divergence of policy in 
their guarded courtesy. 



Independence and security for Bengal, as well as a large 
9um for the treasury, were attained when Hastings, at thf. 

forfeited provinces. There was by this time little fear that 
Shuja-ud-Daula would side with the enemies of Bengal, for the 

^ Marathas were a greater menace to him than to the English^ 
and this new arrangement was likely to procure him the life- 
long enmity of 'che Mogul. It was therefore to his interest to 
remain the loyal ally of the Company, and a further financial 

^advantage was secured by assigning a brigade of the Com- 
pany's troops to protect his territori%jion condition that he 
took over the responsibility of their maintenance, reckoned at 
1,20,000 rupees per mensam. 

These arrangements with external powers were not com- 
pleted till September 7, 1773, after Hastings had had inter- 
course for three weeks with the Vizier at Benares. A joint 
expedition to subdue the Rohillas, and by annexing the 
ct territory they had seized to .secure Oudh on the north-west, 
was also planned at this time, and on its execution a few 
months later the services of the English brigade were requited 
by paying the Company a further sum of 40 lacs. Both 
the Council at Calcutta and the Court of Directors at once 
gave this transaction their hearty approbation. The reason 
is not far to seek. In this, as in the other agreements, the new 
Governor had two motives : first and, in his view, foremost, the 
determination to safeguard the strategic position of Bengal ; 
second, the desir^to effect economies, a matter which came 
first with his employers. This double aim was the inevitable 
result of his anomalous position as vicegerent, not for a king, 
but for a company of merchants, and during his long rule he 
often contrived to remove a menace or check an abuse while 
reaping a golden harvest for the treasury. 

The Calcutta treasury had not only to finance Bengal 
and to raise enough funds to make the investment for each 
year, but also to provide for the deficiencies of Madras and 
Bombay. Both Presidencies applied to Calcutta as a matter 
of course whenever they failed to make two ends meet, to say 
nothing of the enormous sums which had eventually to be 

A price of 50 lacs, restored 



raised to rescue them from the enemies their rashness had 
provoked at Poonah and in Mysore. Hastings, like the, 
younger Pitt, became famous for his conduct of inevitable 
wars, but was as averse from them in Asia as Pitt was in 
Europe. Both were at heart enthusiastic economists and , 
recognized peace ^s the essential ^fcasis for any solid advance in/ 
the well-being of their people. 

The refusal to recognize the Mogul's shadowy authority was 
the prelude to the subjection of his former vassal, the Nawab, 
a rearrangement alre^y decreed by the Directors and follow- 
ing naturally upon tFe first. 

The stipend of the young Nawab Mubarek-ud-Daula was 
32 lacs per annum, little more than half the 52 lacs allowed 
by Clive to his father. But whereas Mir Jafar had then 
been the Lord of Bengal and the Company had wished to 
be considered his servants, the positions were now reversed. 
By standing forth as Diwan the Company would in practice 
become responsible not only for the Diwani, i. e. the 
revenue and civil administration and for defence, but also 
for the Nizamut, which they had rendered powerless, the 
criminal and police jurisdiction, and every other burden 
involved in the government. It was not unreasonable then 
to think that half the amount hitherto received should be 
sufficient to uphold the dignity of the Nawab's sinecure. The 
Court of Directors ordered the stipend to be reduced to 
16 lacs. 

The Nawab was a minor, and the disposal of his 32 lacs 
with the management of his household had been in the hands 
of Mohamed Reza Khan, who was now to be displaced and 
tried, and it became necessary to rearrange the Nawab's 
entourage on a more economical basis. This delicate task 
was undertaken by Hastings in person. He was anxious to do 
away with the office of Naib Suba and to distribute the 
various functions comprised in it, so that no one individual 
about the young Prince might have a footing for ambitious 
schemes. With this view he gave the charge of the household 
to a lady, the Munni Begum, mother of the late Nawab 
Nazim. As the widow of Mir Jafar, she had the advantage 


of seniority and experience. To act under her in those 
affairs which a Mahomedan woman could not transact ir^. 
person, Hastings appointed as Diwan Nazim, which now 
meant little more than Master of the Household, the Raja 
Goordass. He was the son of Nuncomar, a certain Raja who 
had held various offices and keen active in aV sorts of intrigues 
at the courts of Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim, and was a bitter 
enemy of Mohamed Reza Khan. He was suspected of dis- 
loyalty to the Company, and as Resident at Murshidabad 
during the years 1757 to 1764 Hasting9|^ad, by thwarting his 
machinations, incurred his bitterest Mmity. But it was 
certain that no one was better informed of the secret doings 
of the Court and Nizamut than Nuncomar, and the Court of 
Directors privately instructed Hastings to make use of his 
information in the trial of Mohamed Reza Khan. For this 
purpose it would be necessary to conciliate Nuncomar, but, 
on the other hand, it was dangerous to entrust him with any 
power. By giving this subordinate appointment to his son 
Goordass, a man of quiet disposition, Hastings found the 
happy mean. The appointment met with hot criticism from 
his Council, to whom Hastings did not consider himself free to 
divulge his instructions, but it took place and its results were 
satisfactory to the Government. Three years later, when 
factious English Councillors formed a party against the 
Governor, Nuncomar found his opportunity to deal him 
an ungrateful blow. 

It was still necessary for Hastings to lend his nominees 
personal support in effecting the retrenchments required by 
the reduction of the Nawab's stipend. While the English 
would now take over the administrative expenses of the 
Nizamut, there remained a host of ceremonial charges and 
pensions included under that head, and the business was not 
concluded till October 1772. To conduct the settlement and 
these important readjustments in person, Hastings left Cal- 
cutta in June and spent the summer at Kasimbazar and the 
old capital. It was not until his return to the new seat of 
Government in September that the retrospective inquiries 
on which the Directors were bent could be taken in hand. 


The trials of Mohamed Reza Khan and Shitab Roy came first, 
(^or their arrest had of necessity preceded the reorganization 
of their offices, and they had now been for some four months 
in honourable captivity at Calcutta. During this interval 
every effort had been made to investigate their conduct, but 
without much sucjess. Their rertoval from office was enough 
to raise up against them a swarm of accusers, but to deter- 
mine how far the evidence offered was genuine and not 
malicious was almost impossible. The records of their offices 
were overhauled, but.^e foreign characters and the intricacy 
of detail in which th^ were presented rendered them almost 
unintelligible. The net result was a verdict based inevitably 
rather on the general character of the prisoners in public 
opinion, both native and English, than on a strict process 
of law. 

Mohamed Reza Khan had been the virtual ruler of Bengal 
for seven years. As Naib Suba he had handled 32 lacs 
of the Nawab's stipend and 9 lacs of his own ; he had 
had control of the native troops and of criminal magistracy 
and police matters in virtue of his office as Naib Nazim ; 
as Naib Diwan he had controlled civil justice and revenue 
affairs. He had thus in his hands the whole native patronage. 
It is true he was under the direction of the English Company, 
but, on the other hand, their view of native men and affairs 
was largely dependent upon his reports. Power so conceni 
trated in one person and with such imperfgpt checks upon iti 
could hardly fail to be abused in so venal a period, and there 
seems to have been little doubt in the minds of his contemf 
poraries that Mohamed was guilty of peculation, though not 
of the graver crime of enhancing the famine. Since clear 
proof was not forthcoming, and to prolong the trial indefinitely 
would have been equivalent to inflicting punishment, he was 
released, but not reinstated. 

The case of Shitab Roy was less dubious. It had been 
necessary to displace him for reasons of policy, and convenient 
to include him in the suspicion that surrounded Mohamed, 
but the Directors had nothing tangible against him. He too 
was acquitted, and the result of these trials only confirmed 


Hastings in his original dislike of the inquiries as a waste of 
time and worse. For Shitab Roy, the old hero of Patna, wh# 
had fought gallantly beside Captain Knox at a crisis in the 
Company's career, died broken-hearted from the disgrace of 
his imprisonment before any reparation could be made to him. 
As the Governor declared, tlie English couW not expect to be 
served so loyally again by native chiefs. Happily the story 
of India has again and again given the lie to his fears, but they 
were not unnatural. 

If the trial of native magnates was dL'tasteful to Hastings, 
an inquisition into the conduct of his f enow servants was still 
more unpleasant. If he began with accusations, how could he 
hope for the confidence and hearty co-operation of his col- 
leagues } But the Company's orders to make prompt and 
thorough investigation were the more urgent because they 
saw a chance of levying considerable sums from the offen- 
ders. The Governor was bidden to institute three several 
/processes : 

1. A retrenchment of the civil and military establish- 

2. The restitution of the surplus revenue donation. 

3. The prosecution of inland traders. 

With the last he was in entire sympathy. Arrears of duties 
were soon recovered from the late Society of Trade ; the case 
of Mr. Lushington, who had been accused of engrossing grain 
during the f amine^was taken in hand forthwith, and Hastings's 
new systems of Revenue collection and of Justice were directly 
calculated to stamp out these old monopolies. 

The second was a more dubious and difficult matter. 
Besides the commission — originally 2^%, later raised to 5% — 
on the revenue, granted by the Directors to their servants 
on the abolition of the inland trade, a surplus had arisen 
from a reduction in the amount paid to the Nawab by Cartier's 
Government. The Council, without waiting for authority 
from home, had distributed it among their colleagues. This 
wounded the Directors in their tenderest parts ; purse and 
dignity smarted together, and it became a point of honour with 
them to visit with disgrace so dangerous a precedent and to 



recover the money. Hastings, even if he had shared their 
^dignation, could hardly have procured them satisfaction. 
Many of the recipients had already left India, and months of 
delay must needs occur while their attorneys communicated 
with them ; the restitution of sums, perhaps already expended, 
was problematical at best, and if secured in one case and not in 
another, would constitute a penalty on the mt)st honourable. 
But by far the most serious objection was the waste of time 
urgently needed for reforms, without which the machinery of 
government could ncl^be set up. A further reason against 
this inquisition was the Governor's lack of power. For an 
operation so apt to engender resistance, it might be thought 
that he would receive exceptional powers. But the fact was 
that his supremacy over the rest of the Council consisted in 
nothing more than the warrant of the Directors* private 
dispatches and the right to a casting vote as Chairman. A 
Select Committee was still associated with the Governor, as in 
1765, to handle matters of special importance, but in that, as 
in the larger body, he depended rather on prestige and personal 
influence to secure his aims than on any exceptional powers.^ 
If the Council or Committee chose to oppose his policy, he 
had no resource but an appeal to England, quite useless for 
immediate purposes, since a year at least must elapse before 
any reply could be received. In point of fact, owing to the 
investigations preparatory to Lord North*s Regulating Act, 
the Directors were too preoccupied during i*e years 1771 and 
1772 to correspond at all fully with their Calcutta servants. 
This is a matter of some moment when the autocratic nature of 
Hastings's rule is in question. It was hardly to be expected 
that a man who for eighteen months ruled huge provinces 
without guidance from his superiors should not develop 
a self-reliance which at times amounted to independence. 
The Governor had in any case to rely on his own tact and 
leadership to secure the loyal co-operation of his fellow 
workers, and in this Hastings excelled. Clive had dominated 
his associates; Vansittart, Verelst, and Cartier had at times dis- 
puted with them, and at times yielded ; Hastings persuaded. 
^ Gleig, vol. i, p. 371, and Appendix, Chap. VI, p. 200, 


The general testimony of his unbiased contemporaries and 
of his correspondence shows him as a genial, attractivC 
personality, with too shrewd a sense of humour to stand on 
his dignity, too keen insight to be harsh, and too much reso- 
lution to be browbeaten. 

In his first Council he eifcountered two 'opponents of very 
different calibr«. General Barker, the Commander-in-Chief, 
had for some time past been assuming an independence against 
which Cartier's Council had had to appeal to the Directors. 
To him Hastings issued directions tha^ admitted of no ques- 
tion, and while inviting the Generars advice and seeking to 
profit by his experience, made it clear that in his hands the 
civil authority would brook no rival. In Mr. Barwell he had 
to deal with a well-meaning and indefatigable Councillor, 
experienced in revenue affairs, but apt to clog the wheels of 
debate by pertinacity about details and readiness to think 
himself slighted. Forced by the pressure of affairs to curb his 
prolixity, Hastings yet managed to convert him into a stanch 
ally, and it was by Harwell's sole support he was able in after- 
days to weather the malicious opposition of Francis and his 
crew. The achievement of harmony at the Council Board 
made it possible to proceed to those retrenchments which were 
demanded in the mihtary and civil establishments. 

To enforce reforms on the Company's military service 
needed a master-hand. For the problem of the due subjection 
of the military teethe civil executive, that ever-present diffi- 
culty of rulers who owe their power immediately to the sword, 
was at the moment acute in Bengal. In India this was, and 
may continue to be, a live question, for the government rests 
too closely on a military basis and is too liable to the sudden 
alarms of native irruption or incursion, from Clive's day almost 
to our own, not to feel the weight of its defensive armour at 
times a little burdensome. But it is precisely this persistence 
of similar problems that gives interest to Hastings's corre- 
spondence. His views appeal to us just in proportion as they 
were too advanced for his contemporaries. He has been 
thought to have erred on the side of a despotic use of mili- 
tarism, but we find him insisting to the Chairman of Directors 


on the supremacy of the civil authority.^ The insubordinate 
Ifemper which he had to combat was no mere lack of discipline 
among subalterns. The negotiations which commanders, 
employed at a distance from Calcutta, were often obliged to 
initiate were apt to induce in them a sense of independence. 
Sir R. Barker chaliienged and eveh ignored the orders of the 
President and Council.^ In the case of Captain Harper, with 
which he had to deal in the first months of his rule, Hastings 
secured the General's obedience without giving him an opening 
for controversy ; in t^^j^ case of the court martial of two subal- 
terns for defiance of the Mayor's Court,^ and also in the case of 
Lieutenant Dunbar, an officer of the Pargana Battalions, 
who had been guilty of cruelty to a native debtor, he enforced 
severe penalties.'* All these matters, trivial in themselves, 
indicate how difficult it was for a company of merchants to 
establish due control over the soldiers of whom they were 
forced to avail themselves. The Mayor's Court had been 
instituted long before the need for troops had arisen, yet his 
was the only jurisdiction to which Europeans were subject, 
and it had become necessary to extend it far beyond the 
bounds of Calcutta or to leave the officers as well as the 
factors free to do as they chose in the provinces. Neither 
alternative recommended itself to Hastings. Perceiving the 
need for a special authority to deal with men so uniquely 
placed as the Company's European captains, he set the 
especial post of Judge-Advocate for the arr^ on a new foot- 
ing.^ The^ustom of duelling was forbidden to officers, and 
another measure taken to remove the pitfalls which beset 
inexperienced subalterns. This was the suppression of the 
Pargana Battalions. Employed in the unsoldierly work of 
tax-gathering, these troops were undisciplined and brutal. 

1 British Museum Add. MS. 29127, Appendix 20, Letter to Colebrooke, 

* Gleig, vol. i, p. 254; Bengal Letters, vol. x, p. 341 ; Bengal Secret 
Cnnsultations , Range A. 25, pp. 207-8. 

* Bengal Public Cons. 56 (10), March 28, 1774. 

* Bengal Public Cons. 52, October 10, 1772 ; Bengal Letters, vol. x, p. 163 ; 
vol. xi, p. 402 ; /. O. Records, Wilkes's Miscellaneous, December 16, 1773. 

* Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 403, para. 18-20. 
1526.9 M 



They had to be scattered up and down the country in small 
parties and under insufficient control, so that it was impossibf , 
to inspire them with a truly military spirit. They plundered 
the peasants and terrorized the Zemindars with impunity, and 
jealousy of their ill-earned gains threatened to demoralize 
the regular sepoys. Hastfiigs had, in 17^2, reorganized the 
revenue collections so as to preclude the need for this rabble, 
and they were accordingly abolished. To disband them 
would have been to let loose a flood of marauders on the pro- 
vince ; they were consequently place(^vn the same footing as 
the regular troops and under the strictest discipline, and by 
degrees incorporated in the three brigades.^ 

The country was in truth in a very disturbed condition, 
with which neither police methods nor the ordinary course of 
justice, however wisely reformed, could be expected to cope. 
Special measures were required to deal with the widespread 
dacoity and with the marauding bands of Bhutanese and 

Dacoits^formed a standing trouble present in all parts of 
the provinces and at all seasons of the year. Their bands 
varied from small parties to troops of 400 or 500, and were 
recruited from the inhabitants by the pressure of want or hope 
of plunder, but the majority were ' robbers by profession and 
even by birth ' ; as Hastings wrote, * they are formed into 
regular communities and their families subsist by the spoil 
which they brirvcr shome to them ; they are all therefore alike 
criminal, wretches who have placed themselves in a state of 
declared war with Government, and are therefore wholly 
excluded from any benefit of its laws *. This evil had grown^ 
to enormous proportions chiefly through the impotence of the| 
Faujdars since the collapse of the native system, and Hastings^ 
now proposed to restore this officer and his subordinate, the! 
Thanadar,^ and to take drastic measures to hunt down anc^ 
extirpate the dacoits. 

He enacted that every convicted dacoit should be executed 
in his own village with all the forms and terrors of law ; his 

^ Bengal Secret Consultations, Range A. 25, pp. 28 and 325; Bengal 
Letters, vol. xi, p. 353 {17). * pp. 271, 275. 



family made slaves, and every inhabitant of the village fined. 1 
!||p milder punishment would avail. Imprisonment was 
merely the convenient provision of food and shelter,* Hastings 
declared : * We have many instances of their meeting death 
with the greatest insensibility, but when executed in the midst 
of the neighbours §nd relations, when these are treated as 
accessories and the family separated for ever from each other, 
every passion which before served as an incentive to guilt now 
becomes subservient to the purposes of society ; at the same 
time their families, inst^d of being lost to the community, are 
made useful members or it, by being adopted into those of the 
more civilized inhabitants. The apparent rigour will be no 
more than a change of condition by which they will be no 
sufferers, and is the only means we can imagine of dissipating 
these desperate and abandoned societies.' 

Startling as these proposals may be to the modern mind, 
they were not so great a departure from the methods of the 
eighteenth-century judge, even in England, and were calcu- 
lated to root out a caste of hereditary criminals and to reform 
the material from which they were recruited. 

The Sunnyasis Hastings describes as * wandering faquirs who 
annually infest the Province ... in pilgrimage to Juggernaut, 
going in bodies of a thousand and sometimes even ten thousand 
men. They inhabit the country lying south of Tibbet, from 
Caubul to China. They go mostly naked, rove continually from 
place to place, recruiting their numbers witj^ the healthiest 
children they can steal. Many are merchants ; they are all 
pilgrims, and held by all castes of Gentoos in great venera- 
tion.' This popular regard rendered it difficult to deal with 
the marauders. In the autumn of 1772 a party of Pargana 
sepoys was sent from Rungpore to hunt them down, but was 
itself destroyed, owing to a want of discipline, and its officer 
killed. The Council then determined on creating a new 
mobile force of Light Infantry to supplement the three bri- 
gades, and at the same time, in February 1773, did away with 
the Pargana establishment. Their worthless character was 

^ Sir J. Fitz James Stephen, Nuncotnar and Jmpey, vol. ii, p. I3i>. 
* Gleig. vol. i, p. 282. 

N 2 


maintained to the last, for Captain Edwards, sent with three 
Pargana BattaHons to retrieve the earher disaster, met(,i 
like fate, his sepoys deserting him in the face of the enemy. 
The conduct of a body of regulars, under Captain Robert 
Stewart, displayed a fine contrast, first defeating the Sunnyasis 
and then, in conjunction Vith a similar fcorce, clearing Kuph 
Behar of the Phutanese who had overrun it, and from whom 
the Raja had appealed to the Company for protection. The 
account of the discipline which Stewart enforced has come 
down to us in its original terms and gi|^'^s a vivid picture of the 
early days of the service.^ 

I The four new regiments of light troops were maintained on 
'the frontier to deal with any fresh incursions. 

Another force was employed under Captain Brooke to 
* reduce to subjection the refractory mountain chiefs, whose 
countries are situated between Monghir, Boglepore, and Beer- 
bhum These were some of the most ancient tribes, Kols, 
S^antals, &c., still living a semi-savage existence and annually, 
on the exhaustion of their own scanty crops, descending to 
plunder the lowlands. Their territory was known as the 
Jungle Terai ; it could not be dealt with like the more settled 
districts, and Captain Brooke was consequently left to 
organize his conquest there, which he appears to have done 
with success, to judge from a report of the district delivered to 
Hastings in 1778 by his successor, James Browne.^ 

For overhaulitP^g the various civil offices both at the Calcutta 
head-quarters and at the inland factories, Hastings's instrument 
was the Board of Inspection, which had been in existence, but 
inactive, since Clive's second administration. Through its 
agency he cut down, in accordance with the ideas expressed in 
No. 5 of his Proposed Regulations, the numbers of the per- 
sonnel and the display and luxury which they had maintained 
at the Company's expense. Hitherto it had been advisable to 
lay out a certain amount on ceremony to uphold their prestige 
as the Company's representatives, but the accession of real 
authority under the new regime would in future obviate the 
need to rely on appearances as far as the actual administrators 
^ Vide pp. 214, 21$. ■pp.217, 218. 



were concerned, while those servants who were continued in 
(^arge of the investment had no further need of such pro- 

For the distribution of these different functions we must 
turn to the account of the Committee of Circuit, Hastings's 
instrument, and to •the great refoitns of the Revenue Settle- 
ment and of Justice which he effected by its mpans. 


[The following nine documents are taken from various 
sources, including both private and public letters from 
Hastings. They deal either with the external policy or the 
reorganization of the Nawab's Government.] 

No. I. Letter to Mr. Purling, Chairman of the Court of 
Directors 1771 to 1772. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29127, p. 8. 

March 22, 1772. 

... I learn that the Marattas . . . are approaching very far 
towards Us from the Northward, having defeated and dis- 
persed the Rohillas and opened a free passage through their 
Country to the Dominions of Shuja Dowla our ally. . . . Sir 
Robert Barker, who is with him, represents him as much 
disturbed by it. Sir Robert has sent orders to the ist Brigade, 
which was at Patna, to march immediately to the relief of the 
Vizier. But the Board have disapproved^^f that act of 
Authority. . , . They are ordered however to halt wherever 
they may be and wait for further orders. . . . The Marattas 
cannot easily complete the Reduction of the Rohillas in so 
short an interval as is left for the Commencement of the Rains ; 
and should they either attempt the Invasion of the Vizier's 
Dominions or even to quarter themselves in the Rohilla 
Country lying on the North side of the Ganges, I think they 
will be at our mercy if we have a force near enough to march 
against them, as the Ganges is at that time impassible, and 
their escape would be cut off from the Northward by the Hills 
and roads which divide India from Tartary. It is most prob- 
able they will do what mischief they can while the dry season 
permits them and recross the Ganges before the Rains. If 
they do not and the Vizier solicits our aid and will engage to 



furnish the Means for payment of the Charges of the Detach- 
ment, it cannot with Propriety be refused him. He is hims(,£ 
so weak that without our aid he must fall. They will most 
certainly fall upon him when they have rid their hands of the 
Rohillas and we must maintain him to save our Countries from 
Devastation. . . . This Province is by no means in a state 
suited to war. It wants kn interval of f*eace, Security and 
quiet Cultivation to retrieve its late Calamities. Yet if the 
Marattas proceed with the same rapid success which they have 
hitherto met with, I fear nothing but a War prosecuted 
against them with Vigour at a distance from our Borders can 
ensure Peace and Quiet to Bengal. V 

No. 2. Letter to Clive. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29127. 

November 12, 1772. 
My Lord, 

I have received your commands by the Lapwing and 
a duplicate by a later packet. I am sensible of the honor 
which Your Lordship has done me in the very friendly com- 
munication and equally obliged by the good advice which it 

No man is better acquainted than Your Lordship with the 
political interests of the Company in Bengal nor with the diffi- 
culties and embarrassments of Government. I cannot there- 
fore wish to profit by a surer guide than your counsel and 
your example [or ' experience A contraction in the MS. 
would admit of feither reading]. I shall adopt the principle 
of both and endeavour to carry them into execution although 
in a different line from that which a different situation of 
affairs required Your Lordship to pursue. It will be my study 
to confirm without extending the power of the Company ini 
this Country, to cultivate the arts of Peace, to establish j 
a regular Administration of Justice, to reduce the enormous 
expenses of the Company to fixed bounds, and to prune them I 
as much as possible from remote wars and foreign connexions. : 

In most of these points I find myself supported by Your 
Lordship's judgement. They are rendered more particularly 
necessary at the time by the incredible injury which the Coun- 
try has sustained by the famine and mortality of 1770, and 
the general licentiousness which seems to have prevailed since 
we took the internal administration of the Provinces out of 



the hands of the former Government, and placed them with- 
out any fixed system in those of our agents. 
w I would gladly acquaint Your Lordship with the detail of 
the transactions of the late Government but a subject of such 
a nature demands a larger portion of time than I can borrow 
from the immediate duties of my station at this time to give 
such an exposition of it as I shoujd wish. Indeed I had no 
intention when I sat down to this letter of expressing more 
than my thanks for the kindness which you had conferred on 
me in yours. I beg leave to assure Your Lordship that your 
letter shall be sacredly confined to my own inspection and that 
I ghall esteem myself ^liged in the highest degree by a con- 
tinuance of them. 9 

I accept with much pleasure of the trust which you have 
been pleased to repose in me and shall punctually follow your 
instructions. I shall advise Your Lordship again by the 
Greenwich^ which will sail in about 5 weeks. 

I have the honour to be, My Lord, 
Your Lordship*s most obedient and obliged servant, 

Warren Hastings. 

No. 3. Letter from the Secret Department of the Calcutta 


Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. i. 

September 5, 1772. 

Para. i. [The Marattas have retired as expected.] 
Para. 2. [The Vizier has made a treaty with the Rohillas to 
defend them and requisitioned the Company's help . . . the 
Company is not bound] to engage with him in distant schemes 
[but] ' we mean to grant him an effective support within the 
Limits of his own Dominions ... we mean most steadfastly to 
adhere to the Line you have laid down for us and to avoid 
without absolute necessity all Military Operations foreign to the 
immediate Defence of these Provinces, and those of your Ally. 
We cannot however forbear from declaring our Apprehension 
that the Marattas' Ambition and Enterprize will bring that 
Necessity to a nearer period than we could wish, especially since 
they have acquired possession of the King's Person and the 
Sanction of his Name, and are freed as we understand by their 
Treaty with Hyder Ally Cawn from any diversion on his part. 

(N.B. — This letter is not signed by W. Hastings, but corrections in his 
hand seem to indicate that it was revised by him before dispatch. He 
returned to Calcutta from Cossimbazar on this date.) 


No. 4. General Letter, Secret Department, 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 189, &c. 

December 10, 1772. 

Para. 5. ... It was about the time that Shah Alum had 
abandoned his residence a^ Corah to throw himself into the 
arms of the Marattas in prosecution of liis idle scheme of 
restoring the Mogul Empire to its antient dignity and extent. 
... [It was] the general belief that the Marattas were prepar- 
ing to invade the province of our Ally the Vizier and even 
enter Bengal. We judged it highly impolitic and unsafe J;o 
answer the drafts of the King [despat»'ed by an adventurer, 
called Major Morrison] till we were satisfied of his amicable 
intentions and those of his new allies, and indeed independent 
of this the state of our Treasury rendered it impracticable to 
comply with these payments or with those which he would 
doubtless have continued to demand in full of his Stipend, as 
it was then empty of Cash, besides that the great amount of 
our debt at Interest required our first attention to its diminu- 
tion and the immediate discharge of the Interest due upon it 
instead of squandering away the wealth of the Company on 
a Pageant of Authority from whom you can never derive any 
real benefit — and on these grounds we have suspended the 
Payment of his Stipend until this time. 

Para. 6. In pursuance of our Resolution on the operations of 
Suja Dowla ... we issued orders for the march of the ist 
Brigade into that Prince's Dominions under the command of 
Colonel Champion with the strictest Injunctions not to suffer 
a single Sepoy to pass the line of his Frontiers under any Pre- 
tence whatsoever. 

No. 5. General Letter from the Select Committee} 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 197. 

January 15, 1773. 

Para. 2. The King's accustomed malevolent Fortune seems 
at this time to have exerted its utmost influence, for as neither 
Party would recede from their pretensions a Battle ensued, 
which after an obstinate conflict of some hours terminated in 
the total Rout of the best appointed Army the King has ever 
possessed, and he became once more a Prisoner in the hands 
of the Marattas. 

Para. 4. He has ceded to them the Provinces of Corah and 
* Vide p. 53. 


Kurrah ^ and they have obliged him to appoint Zabita Cawn 
^uxey of the Empire with the proprietary of those lands 
Usually annexed to this Office. They require him to make 
over all the Country conquered from the Jauts,^ to pay 
Him the Ballance of the Sums he promised them when he first 
joined them and to remain constantly in their Protection. 

Para. 9. How f?jr our engagemcjnts ought to influence us in 
defending him in the right of Possessions we know to have 
been forcibly wrested from Him, at a time When no publick 
act of his can be deemed valid and when there is great Reason 
to imagine he will himself solicit our Assistance to protect 
them, or how far atAhis junction it would be political or 
expedient to interfere must remain undetermined untill we 
have sufficient leisure. . . . 

Para. 10. In the meantime as the fortress of Allahabad is of 
the greatest consequence and the only post belonging to the 
Vizier on that side of the River we have judged it proper to 
direct Col. Champion ... to defend it. 

No. 6. General Letter, Secret Department, 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 358. 

March i» 1773. 

Para. 9. The circumstances of the King's surrendering the 
Province of Cora to the Marattas hardly, as we have observed 
before, makes any difference as to our Situation with regard to 
that Turbulent and Ambitious People. They before declared 
their Intentions of attacking the Vizier and by their Motions 
(have) shewn themselves ready to fall upon him. Our Inter- 
est, our Engagements obliged us to take up his defence, and 
our meeting his Enemies in the above-mentioned Provinces 
instead of receiving them in his own proper^ominions was as 
consonant to this principle as it was conformable to our con- 
nexions with the King and the Interest which we have in the 
Protection of his Demesnes. We still act on the Principles we 
set out of protecting our Allies without forming any Designs 
against other People. In no shape can this compulsory 
Cession by the King release us from the Obligations we are 
under to defend these Provinces which we have so particu- 
larly guaranteed to him and which his own Vice-Roy Minear 
ul Dowlah at this time puts under our Protection. . . . 

^ Kurrah or Karrah was one of the nine circars of Allahabad, containing 
twelve mahals. It is represented to-day by the ruined town of Karrah, 
forty miles north-west of Allahabad, on the right bank of the Ganges. 

* A numerous race in the North-west and bordering provinces. See 
map for position in 1 773 , 


Para. lo. We have not however neglected in undertaking 
these measures to stipulate for such Subsidiary Payments a^j 
will defray all extra expences incurred by them, and the Pre- 
cautions we have taken to ensure the punctual Discharge of 
them will, we persuade ourselves, free us from any Hazard of 
suffering by the Charges of this Expedition, as we have been 
peremptory in our Declarations and Orderaon this Subject we 
mean most rigidly to abide by them. 

Para. ii. We must however observe that we have extended 
our Orders in one Instance beyond the absolute line of the 
Vizier's Dominions. We refer to what we have instructed the 
General respecting the Country of I4-.fiz Rahmut Cawn, a 
small territory lying on the eastern side of the Ganges. Our 
Reasons however are obvious. By allowing the Marattas to 
get a Footing there the Frontier on that Side, having no 
natural boundary or Defense, would be continually exposed to 
their Incursions, as by excluding them from this Space We 
form a compleat Field of Operations with the River for a Bar- 
rier difficult at all times for an enemy to pass and dangerous to 
them in their Retreat, 

No. 7. General Letter, Secret Department. 
Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 29. 

August 16, 1773. 

Para. 3. We had directed Gen. Barker to receive Posses- 
sion of the Provinces of Cora and Allahabad from Munneir ul 
Dowla, Naib of the King, who had expressed his desire to put 
these Districts under our Protection as the King, his Master, 
when defeated last year by the Mahrattas had been compelled 
whilst a Prison^ Mn their Hands to grant Sunnuds for the 
Surrender thereof to them, but as the indispensable Occupa- 
tions of the General called him to a Distance and engaged too 
much of his time to allow the Attention requisite to so material 
an Object, the nature of which demanded the immediate 
Superintendence of a Person well skilled in the Business of the 
Revenues, We thought it essentially expedient, as well for 
preserving the Company's Influence and Participation in the 
Affairs of those Provinces as for establishing a Right to the 
future Disposal of them in the most advantageous manner, 
whenever it might become a Subject of Negotiation, to depute 
a Member of our Board to receive Charge of the Provinces of 
Cora and Allahabad from the General, and Mr. Lawrell was 
accordingly invested with the execution of this Trust and 
Instructions given him . . , that although we took Possession 




of the Country as Allies of the King yet he was not to deliver 
^t over to any Power whatever, not even to the King himself, 
without our express orders, for we judged that surrendering it 
to him in his present helpless State would be in fact giving it 
up to the Marattas. 

Para. 4. The Vizier Suja ul Dowla about this Time in his 
Letters expressed^a great desire tf> have an Interview with the 
Governor, and as that Circumstance concurred with our Wishes 
for having many Points of the greatest Consequence adjusted, 
which could not well be effected without a personal Conference, 
we acquiesced in opinion with the Select Committee, whose 
proceedings on this 'jjibject were laid before us, that such an 
Interview at this Period might be attended with very benefi- 
cial Consequences to the Company's affairs. 

Para. 6. Mr. Hastings left us on the 25. June for Banaras 
(i. e. Benares). 

No. 8. The treaty of Benares. 

[Letter of Hastings to Boulton, Chairman of the Court of 

British Museum Add. MS. 29127, p. 103. 

October 14, 1773. 

. . . The Districts of Corah and Illahabad have been ceded - 
to Soujah Dowla in consideration of an Acknowledgement to 
be paid to the Company of 50 lacks of rupees. . . . Soujah 
Dowla has engaged to pay 2,10,000 rupees per month for the 
expence of a Brigade when employed on his Service, this Sum, 
according to an Estimate made by the General, is fully equal 
to the real Charges ; so that in future when our Troops are 
called to his Assistance, we shall be entirel^t relieved from the 
expences of a third part of our Army. 

. . . The Zemindary of Benares which was held by Bulwanti, 
Sing has been confirmed by the Vizier to his Son Chyte Sin^ 
and his Posterity for ever. His Interest will make him al 
faithful and useful Ally on the borders of the Company's' 

Some Regulations have been made and some Privileges 
obtained which will serve to promote a free and mutual Inter- 
course of Trade between Bengal and those Countries. The 
annual Tribute to the King of 26 lacks has been professedly 
annulled, and it rests with the Court of Directors to determine 
whether anything is to be paid in future. 

I hope my conduct will be honoured with your Approbation 
and that of the Gentlemen in the Direction. If I shall be so 


unfortunate as to fail in this expectation, allow me, Sir, the 
Freedom to say that the Company ought not to condemn me- 
and retain the Fruits of my Infidelities, they must persuade 
the Vizier to take back his 50 lacks for Corah and Illahabad 
that these may be given to the King. They must order Pay- 
ment of his Arrears and the regular Discharge of his yearly 
demands. But from what funds these Restitutions are to be 
made I know not, for Bengal will not supply a tenth part of its 
amount withou'c a Tax on the Investment here or on the 
Dividend at home. 

No. 9. General Letter, Sele^'fCommittee. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 211. 

December 31, 1773. 

Para. 4. We must beg leave to repeat our earnest desire that 
you will be pleased to furnish us with your explicit commands 
for our conduct with respect to the countries situate beyond 
the limits of these Provinces and those of your ally ; whether 
our future relations are to be invariably circumscribed by 
those bounds, or in what cases you will approve and authorize 
our passing beyond them. You are well acquainted with the 
state of the neighbouring powers. Of these the Mahrattas only 
are formidable to your possessions. The rest are weak and 
(the Vizier only excepted) every way inconsiderable ; nor 
should we regard the Mahrattas themselves in a light of much 
more importance, were the force and connexion of your 3 presi- 
dencies united under one active control, which we do not 
hesitate to foretell will, whenever such a plan shall take place 
render you the sovran arbiters of Indostan. 

While the pref^nt system continues we certainly labour 
under great disadvantages with respect to the Mahrattas, since 
in every contest with them, they being necessarily the aggres- 
sors and we acting only in defensive, it can never be in our 
power to hurt them effectually nor even to act against them 
longer than they choose to stand in our way ; but they on the 
contrary have it continually in their option to assail us at 
home, and by the immediate effect of their ravages, or by 
their alarms, disturb the peace of our country and affect our 
revenues, although we are sufficiently able to defeat the most 
strenuous efforts which they may at any time make against us. 

Para. 5. Having thus exposed the state of your political 
interests it might be deemed presumptuous to anticipate the 
orders which you may be pleased to prescribe for our future 
guidance in support of them. We confess that we should 


enter on such a subject with great diffidence from fear that 
ftvhat we might offer as matter of mere speculation might be 
construed into the intention of regulating our conduct accord- 
ingly ; nevertheless we venture to offer for your consideration 
the measures which occur as resulting from this situation of 
things. These may be reduced to the 3 following proposi- 
tions : — • • 

1st.; To unite the powers of the 3 presidencies into one 
manageable system, an object which we ardently wish 
to see accomplished. 
2nd. To strengthen the Vizier by adding the territories of 
the Rohillas wpiin the Ganges to his present dominions. 
3rd. To raise up a new power in the person of the King, 
which might either be employed in conjunction with 
the Vizier in opposing the Mahrattas or, should there 
ever be occasion for it, to serve as counterpoise to the 
Vizier. It would always be easy for us to hold the scale 
between them. 

Para. 6. For the ist of these propositions the advantages 
are so great and so obvious that any argument in support of it 
would be superfluous. The 2nd we should much incline to 
adopt for reasons which you will find largely discussed in our 
proceedings in this department of 19th & 20th ult. 

The 3rd, however beneficial the issue of it might prove, is 
liable to so many uncertain events in the accomplishment of it ; 
would carry our arms to so great and indefinite a distance, and 
would involve us in so heavy an expense until we could extract 
from it the means of reimbursements, that we barely offer it 
to your notice but do not recommend it.^ 

[The following four documents relate to^e reorganization 
of the Nawab's Court and the deposition and trial of the 

No. 10. President's Minute, 
I. O. Records, Committee of Circuit, Range 69, vol. xvii. 

July II, 1772. 

... it was the intention of the Court of Directors to make an 
entire Reformation in the Government of these Provinces and 
to begin with the Abolition of that Authority which has been 
established in it during the course of the last seven years. 
Indeed if this had not been expressed it must necessarily have 
been implied in their commands, since it was not to be ex- 
pected that a new Plan would effectually take place while the 


Influence of the former subsisted ... in a word every branch 
of the Administration centred in Mohamed Reza Cawn. ^ 

It is true that his authority was much diminished in the 
Collections by the Institution of the Supervisors, but he still 
retained an Influence in most Parts of the Province and in 
some his secret power was even superior to that of the Super- 
visors. • , 

This office of Naib Subah according to its original constitu- 
tion comprehends the superintending of the Nabob's educa- 
tion, the management of his household, the regulation of his 
expenses, the representation of his person, the chief adminis- 
tration of Justice, the issuing of all ord^,7 and the direction of 
all measures which respect the government and police of the 
provinces, the conduct of all public negotiations and the 
execution of treaties, in a word every branch of the executive 
government. We do not mention the military command, that 
having been by treaty ceded to the Company, but even this 
great charge cannot be wholly alienated from the Naib Subah 
if there is one, since by virtue of his office it is his name which 
must authorise every act of compulsion with regard to the 
European Companies. By the exercise of such extensive 
powers united in the same person the rights and prerogatives 
of the ancient government will still be preserved, and the 
minds of the people instead of being familiarised to the 
authority of the Company will be taught to look forward to 
the time when the Nabob shall resume the sovereignty and 
state of his predecessors from which his present youth excludes 

We are not informed what line our superiors mean to pursue 
on the conclusion of the Nabob's minority. We can plainly 
see that whatevej^iaith may be due to treaties subsisting on 
grounds of very controvertible authority, a divided govern- 
ment cannot last, but must be productive of continual contest 
and end at length in a scene of bloodshed like that which we 
have once already experienced. For these reasons it is our 
duty to suppose a total change of government by degrees 
taking place, which shall substitute the real power which 
protects this country, in the place of that which claims the 
possession of it by a right it is unable to assert or support, and 
to provide for the gradual completion of it by such means 
as can be regularly and justifiably exerted. The Nabob's 
minority incontestably affords such means ; since whatever 
share of authority we should leave in his hands, whatever 
portion of the public revenue we should allow for his use, 
would prove of no benefit to him. The former would be 


usurped to gratify the purposes of private ambition, and 
employed perhaps to his destruction : the latter would be 
ftssipated by the minions of his court. In whose hands can 
they both rest with such propriety as in those to which they 
naturally belong : and if at the expiration of the term which 
shall be fixed to his minority it shall then be resolved to resign 
to him the authority which his r^^k and station may claim 
such a cession will have so much the more merit as the tempta- 
tion and means of withholding it are the greater. Whatever 
therefore may be the future determination, it is our duty 
to take such measures as shall assure to our superiors the 
option of acting according to their own ideas of Justice and 
propriety, that is to *tain openly in their own hands the 
whole conduct of the government for the present to accustom 
the people to the soveranty of the British nation, to divide the 
office of the Nizamut and to suffer no person to share in the 
management of the Nabob's domestic affairs who from birth, 
rank, personal consideration or from actual trust may have it 
in his power to assist his master with the means or even to 
inspire him with the hopes of future independence. 

No. II. The NawaVs Household, 

British Museum Add. MS. 29105, p. 12 ; Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 131 ; 
General Letter, Secret Department, 

November 10, 1772. 

Para. 11. The reduction of the Nabob's stipend and the new 
arrangement of his household in consequence was a measure 
equally difficult and invidious in execution, but besides being 
indispensable from your orders, our sense o^its wisdom and 
propriety made it be undertaken without delay or regret. 
To bring the whole expenses of the Nizamut within the pale of 
16 lacks it was necessary to begin with reforming the useless 
servants of the court and retrenching the idle parade of ele- 
phants, menageries, etc. which loaded the Civil List. This 
cost little regret in performing, but the President, who took 
upon him the chief share in this business, acknowledges he 
suffered considerably in his feelings when he came to touch 
upon the Pension List. Some hundreds of persons of the 
ancient nobility of the Country, excluded under our govern- 
ment from almost all employments civil or military, had ever 
since the revolution depended on the bounty of the Nabob and 
near lo lacks were bestowed that way. It is not that the 
distribution was always made with judgement and impartiality, 


and much room was left for a reform, but when the question 
was to cut off the greatest part, it could not fail to be acconj- 
panied with circumstances of real distress. The President 
declares that even with some of the highest rank he could not 
avoid discovering under all the pride of eastern manners, the 
manifest marks of penury and want. There was however no 
room left for hesitation. «To confine th^ Nabob's expenses 
within the limited sum it was necessary that pensions should 
be set aside. It was done and every regard was had to equity 
and the pretensions of individuals in settling those that were 
allowed to remain. 

Para. 12. The dependents of the ^^te Naib Subah were 
without exception cut off the list ana the remainder of the 
reduction chiefly confined to those who were of less pretensions 
or more independence of fortune than the old pensioners. 

Para. 13. ... (the Rajah Goordass) conducts himself in his 
new Ministry both to our satisfaction and to that of the Munny 
Begum, who is at the head of the Nabob's house. 

Para. 14. . . . We have everything to expect from her manage- 
ment in confirming the plans of your administration and for- 
warding the Company's views. She displays great prudence 
in her conduct and carries herself with a dignity becoming the 
post she holds. 

We can say little of the Nabob himself : he seems to betray 
a mind more neglected than really deficient at bottom. How 
far the care of the Munny Begum may be able to bring him 
back to himself must be seen in future. In the meantime the 
President with her approbation has driven from his presence 
some of the chief minions of his favour and instruments of his 
irregular pleasures. 

Para. 18. Thp, Enquiry into the Conduct of the Nabob 
Mohamed Reza Cawn and of Rajah Shitabroy have necessarily 
been suspended during the absence of the President on the 
more important and interesting Business of the Settlements 
and other Objects with which the Committee of Circuit were 
charged. In the meantime we have sought for Information 
by every justifiable method. . . . We entertain no doubts of 
fixing on the former sufficient facts to justify your dismission 
and censure of him, but our duty obliges us to intimate our 
doubts of being able to ascertain some of the Charges against 
him, in particular that of his dealings in the time of the Famine 
and of his Peculation in the management of the Nabob's 
Revenue. The first must by the nature of it be vague and 
unprecise, and even the Transactions themselves, if proved, are 
susceptible of a specious colouring, which it may be difficult to 


remove, and the last is so involved in the Intricacies of Volu- 
^nous Household accounts obscured by the Bengal Character 
and Language that they promise very little success in the 
unravelling them. 

No. 12. The lnqui%y into the condi^ct of Mohamed Reza Khan, 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 33 ; General Letter, Secre* Department. 

August 16, 1773. 

Para. 12. We foresaw that it would be a very tedious and 
troublesome business. PWe have good reason to continue 
confirmed in this opinion, for notwithstanding we have dedi- 
cated to it all the time that we could possibly spare from the 
other indispensable duties of your Government we have only 
yet been able to go through the ist Article of Impeachment, 
viz. the charge of his monopolizing the grain during the famine. 
We have examined a number of evidences in support of this 
charge, but we must acknowledge that they do not establish 
any clear or conclusive proof of the Naib's guilt ; on the con- 
trary, the Belief which prevailed in the Country of his being 
concerned in that trade seems in great degree to have taken 
its rise from the notions of the People, who not having access 
to better intelligence blended and mistook the duties of 
Mohammed Reza Cawn's public Station in the measures which 
he pursued for the relief of the city during the height of the 
famine for the exertion of sordid views to gratify and 
promote his private interest. By the time the examination in 
the ist charge was finished Mohamed Reza Cawn had under- 
gone a 14 months' close confinement, which led us to consider 
whether it was necessary he should continiiS longer in that 
state : upon maturely weighing every circumstance the Board 
were unanimously of opinion that opportunity had been 
afforded for all persons desirous of accusing him or of obtaining 
redress of grievances suffered at his hands to have appeared 
to give their testimony or to make their application, and as 
to destroy his influence in the country and to encourage all 
persons to stand forth and prefer their accusations against him 
unawed by any apprehensions from the effects of his power or 
of his resentment was one of the chief purposes intended by 
placing guards on his person, We thought that to continue 
them longer became unnecessary and might appear to the 
world an act of wanton severity, especially as the article of the 
Impeachment related solely to matters of accounts for investi- 
gating which the Informations already received and the public 



records of the Khalsa and Nizamut were the only materials 
wanted. It was therefore agreed to recommend to the Presr 
dent to withdraw the guards, which concurring entirely witn 
his own sentiments he gave orders accordingly, but it was at 
the same time resolved that he should not be permitted to 
depart Calcutta untill the enquiry shall have been finished. 

Para. 13. Mohamed Rez^d Cawn has delivered a Defence to 
this Article [i^e. Art. i of the Impeachment] avowing his 
Innocence of the Charge, pointing out the Measures which 
public Duty obliged him to take for the Relief of the Country 
at that melancholy Conjuncture and detecting a Variety of 
Falsehoods and Contradictions in t^^ Depositions of the 

Para. 14. The second Article of Impeachment is the Bal- 
lance which is stated against him during the 2 years that he 
collected the Dacca Revenues under the Nabob Mir Jafiier. 
This Ballance is grounded upon a Tahud or Contract and 
a Kistbundee which appears under Mohamed Reza Cawn's 
Seal. In reply to the Demand which it establishes Mohamed 
Reza Cawn sets forth that these Deeds were extorted from 
him by Violence at a Time when through the Machinations 
of Nundoocomar he was under Confinement and considered 
his Life to be in Danger and that they were afterwards 
invalidated or suspended by writings which he produces under 
the Sign Manual of the Nabob Mir JafBer. Nundoocomar 
on the other hand continues to assert that the Ballance 
established by this Kistbundee is justly due and recoverable 
from Mohamed Reza Cawn. Thus circumstanced, without 
the assistance of further Lights or Proofs, the only Clue we 
have left to lead to the Investigation of the Truth, and upon 
which to build adjudgment, is to obtain if possible an Account 
of the actual Collections made in the Province of Dacca for 
these Years. We have with this View resolved that our 
President shall call upon Nundoocomar for every Paper and 
Proof that he can produce in support of this Charge and that 
these shall be given in trust to Mr. Barwell, the Chief of 
Dacca, with full powers and Instructions to trace and ascertain, 
either by the Lights which they may afford or by any other 
means in his power, such as the acquiring of the Mofussil 
Papers or obtaining Information from the ancient Mutta- 
seddies of the District, an exact Account of the real Collections 
for the two Years, which Mohamed Reza Cawn was the Naib 
of Dacca. 



13. President's Letter to the Secret Committee of the Court 
of Directors. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 416. 

March 24, 1774. 

I will speak first of that Charge w]|ich was more particularly 
the Object of your 5^ttention and our Enquiry, I mean the 
Monopoly of Grain. • 

You will be pleased to recollect that the Charge was general, 
without any Specificates of Time, Places, or Persons. I had 
neither Witnesses nor "^^uchers, nor Materials of any sort to 
begin with. For these ^relied chiefly on the Abilities, Obser- 
vation, and active Malignity of Mahraja Nundcomar, but not 
resting wholly on his Aid I took such other Precautions as 
were most likely to produce Informations against Mohamed 
Reza Cawn, if his Conduct had actually merited that Return 
from the People of this Country. In concurrence with the 
Committee of Circuit at Cossimbazar and with the Council 
here, I published Advertisements inviting all Persons to give 
Information against such as had contributed to the Dis- 
tresses of the Country in the Time of the Famine by the 
Monopoly of Grain or any other unfair Practices on the Wants 
and Necessities of the People. I allowed all who had anything 
to offer on these subjects to have Access to me ; and although 
I never had much time to spare, I patiently bestowed many 
Hours and even Days of it in listening to the multiplied but 
indefinite suggestions of Nundcomar. . . . 

In the course of the Enquiry I proceeded with the most 
rigid Impartiality. ... I informed the Rajah Huzoorymull of 
the Reference which you had been pleased to direct me to 
make to him for the Facts on which his Iniormation was 
grounded. He came several Times to me with the Express 
Purpose, and brought with him an old and respectable Mer- 
chant of this City since deceased ... to aid him in his Informa- 
tions. But after much timid Hesitation, mutual Reference, 
and Procrastination, they both at length declined it, nor could 
I ever obtain the smallest Intelligence from either. . . . Either 
the fear of the Consequences affecting his Character restrained 
him [i. e. Huzoorymull] from avowing what he knew, or 
(which I think more likely) he was misled by the Clamors of 
the People in the Information which he originally gave to 
Mr. Gregory. 

With respect to the accounts of the Nizamut ... All the 
accounts on these Heads which I have ever received from 
Rajah Nundcomar stand upon record and they are such as 





appear more calculated to acquit Mohamed Reza Cawn than 
establish any proofs against him. f , 

I am at a Loss to discover the Secret spring which governs 
the mysterious conduct of this Man (i. e. Nundcomar), as I am 
certain he is impelled by nothing less than a desire to favor 
Mohamed Reza Cawn. It might suit well with his private 
Views to procrastinate tile issue of the Enquiry, although it 
would be littlf^ consistent with the Credit or Justice of your 
Administration to prolong it to a further period, two Years 
having been already consumed in bringing it to a Close on 
our Proceedings. Many attempts indeed were made by 
Nundcomar, both in the course of Cnis Affair, and in the 
Examination of Mahraja Shitabroy, to obtain a formal commis- 
sion for making a personal and local Inquisition into the Ac- 
counts of the Collections depending on both ; but of this I dis- 
approved, knowing that such a Power might be converted and 
believing that in his hands it would be converted to purposes 
as detrimental to the Revenues as oppressive to the People. It 
was proposed to the Board and by them peremptorily refused. 

Notwithstanding the consciousness which I possess of my 
own Integrity and the Certainty that my Conduct throughout 
this ungrateful Business will on the most rigid Scrutiny do me 
credit, yet I am not without my Fears. I am aware of the 
violent Prejudices which were taken up at once against 
Mohamed Reza Cawn by all Ranks of People both here and 
at Home. I am also aware that in England, where the very 
Name of Enquiry into the management of past Affairs in India 
flatters the passion of the Times, and raises Expectations of 
great and important Detections, the Result may balk those 
Expectations and turn the Torrent of public Clamor another 
Way. In manf^ ^of the private Letters which I received from 
my Friends in England, I was warned to act with the greatest 
Caution in this Enquiry, as the Confirmation of my Credit 
with the Public and, forgive me for adding, with Yr. Honble 
Court depended upon it. . . . 

I can only say that I have never quitted this Prosecution 
but for Affairs of greater Moment ; and though I ever bear 
the most respectful Deference for your Commands and have 
never suffered my Zeal to slacken in their Execution, yet 
I must candidly own that I never gave up a portion of my 
Time to this Business without feeling a painful Regret that so 
much of it was lost to the care of your real Business. 

I must declare that I have another Motive for my Fears, 
the dark and deceitful character of Nundcomar , whose gratitude^ 
no Kindness can bind, nor even his own Interest disengage 


(him from the crooked Politics which have been the Study and 
Practice of his whole Life. Of this I have had many very 
^traordinary Proofs. 

Before my Departure from Fort St. George, when my 
Appointment to this Presidency was known, a Messenger 
expressly deputed from Munny Begum came to me there with 
letters from her, entreating my Pr(itection in the most earnest 
Terms both for her House and for the People of Bengal against 
the Tyranny of Mohamed Reza Cawn, and referf ing me for fur- 
ther Information to Mahraja Nundcomar, from whom I received 
similar addresses on the same subject (and by the same Hand).* 
The Begum has sinc<^solemnly disowned her having ever 
written such Letters, or authorized such a Commission. . . . 

A very short Time after the Elevation of his Son to the 
high Office which he now possesses as Dewan to the Nabob, 
Nundcomar sent Drafts of Letters to the Begum, which he 
recommended her to write to me, enumerating the many En- 
croachments which had been made by the English Govern- 
ment on the Rights of the Nizamut, and reclaiming them for 
the Behalf of the Nabob. Copies of these Drafts, communi- 
cated to me by the Resident Mr. Middleton and by other 
Channels, are actually in my Possession. . . . 

My Experience of his Character has never altered my 
Behaviour to him, but in such Instances only, and such have 
occurred as required it for the publick Tranquillity. I have 
supported the Authority of Rajah Goordass even in Opposi- 
tion to the Begum, because it was consistent with the Credit 
and Dignity of your Administration that the System which it 
had been thought proper on well-considered Grounds to 
appoint should be steadily supported. 

I have also in many little Instances by djiy Countenance 
assisted the personal Influence of Mahraja Nundcomar, and 
I have endeavoured to turn both his good and bad qualities to 
account for the Advantage of the Hon. Company, in such 
Occasions as could admit of the Application of either. But 
I must say that I have been disappointed in all my past 
Expectations from him, and do not promise myself much 
Benefit from his Abilities in Time to come, as the Scene in 
which he has the fairest Opportunities of displaying them is 
now closed. 

Whatever your Resolution may be concerning the future 
Fate of Mohamed Reza Cawn, it is my duty, although I believe 
it unnecessary, to represent that whatever reparation you may 
think due for his past sufferings, the Restoration of any Part 

^ These five words are interpolated in W. H.'s handwriting. 


of the Power which he before possessed will inevitably tend 
to the Injury of the Company's Affairs, and the Diminution 
of your Influence and Authority. ^ 

There can be but one Government and one power in this 
Province. Even the Pretensions of the Nabob may prove 
a Source of great Embarrassment when he is of Age to claim 
his release from the prese(;t State of PupiUage which prevents 
his asserting them. 

i have the Honour to be, Gentlemen, 
your most obedient and most faithful Servant, 

Warren Hastings. 

No. 14. Trial and Fate of Raja Shitah Roy. 
Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 32 ; General Letter, Secret Department. 

[Though of an earlier date than the last document, these 
extracts are printed later because they deal with a different 
branch of the Inquiries.] 

August 16, 1773. 

Para. Q. Since the despatch of the Hector we have concluded 
the Enquiry into the Conduct of Mohamed Shitab Roy and it 
has terminated in his acquittal, no proof having been produced 
against him either of Embezzlement or Mismanagement during 
the period of his Administration. 

Upon this issue of his Enquiry, being satisfied of his great 
abilities and Experience in the business of the Revenue and 
the service of such a person being absolutely necessary in 
Bahar, we appointed him to act as Roy Royan for that Pro- 
vince, and the|?^Tabob at our recommendation has continued 
him his Naib for the superintendence of the Criminal branch 
of the administration of Justice and interposition in disputes 
with foreign nations. 

Para. 11. We have granted Shitab Roy an allowance of 
50,000 r. for his Offices of Naib to the Soubah and Roy Royan 
of Bahar. This is only a half of his former salary, but on the 
principle of adopting a strict economy in every branch of 
public expence we have acquainted him that we expect he 
should consider this allowance not only adequate to his station 
but also as a compensation for the loss sustained by being 
deprived of his Jaghire of the Pachutra duties.^ 

^ i. e. customs or tolls granted to farm like land-revenues. 


Revenue Letter. 
p Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. i6o. 

November 10, 1773. 

Para. 28. It is with regret that we have to advise you of the 
death of Mohamed Shitab Roy, which happened so soon after 
his return to Patna as to preclude him from enjoying the 
reparation we ha(J deemed him entitled to for the apparent 
disgrace he had suffered and the Company from receiving any 
further benefit from his services. 

Para. 29. Although Mohamed can no longer benefit by our 
goodopinionof him, y^ we cannot omit to express our thorough 
conviction that he e^r served the Company with a fidelity, 
integrity and ability which they can hardly expect to experi- 
ence in any future Officer of Government whom they may 
chuse from the same class of people. 

[These two documents (15 and 16) give an insight into 
Hastings's relations with his Council, the letter to Mr. Sulivan, 
Deputy Chairman of Court of Directors, explaining the need 
for new regulations.] 

No. 15. Regulations proposed for Standing Orders of Council, 

Bengal Public Consultations, Range 2, vol. i, p. 789. 

October 26, 1772. 

1. When a question is before the Board any Member may 
propose the previous question or any alteration or amend- 
ment of it. 

2. Every question shall be put by the President and shall be 
framed in such words as shall admit of a simple Affirmative or 
Negative in reply. ^ ' 

3. Every Member shall reply to the question by a simple 
Affirmative or Negative. He shall have a right afterwards to 
state his Reasons for his opinion in a Separate Minute. 

4. No paper shall be inserted in the Proceedings unless by 
order of the Board except Minutes by individual Members 
signed by themselves. 

5. No Member but the President shall dictate Minutes to the 
Secretary at the Council Board, and he only such as are to 
stand as Minutes of the Board. 

6. The Secretary shall take down the substance of every 
Member's opinion by short notes in his Minute book if required, 
but it shall be at the option of any Member to send in a minute 
of his own writing after Council to be substituted in its Room. 


7. Only one Minute shall be received from anyone Member on 
any one Subject of Debate. But the majority shall be entitled 
to one reply as the majority of the Board, and if in this repl^ 
any new matter be introduced which shall not have passed or 
be recollected to have passed in the course of the Debate, in 
that case the Minority shall have the Priviledge of a Rejoinder 
upon that only. 

November 16, 1772. [The above Regul^cions were ordered 
to stand as rulers.] 

No. 16. Letter to Mr. Sulivan. ^ 
British Museum Add. MS. 29127. 

November 11, 1772. 

. . . the affairs of this Settlement require great reformation, 
and I have no power to effect it. 

By great labour and a particular attention to the most 
important departments and concerns of the service, I main- 
tain an influence in this Administration ; to which also the 
good disposition of most of the members now associated with 
me, and the opinion that the Governor is in something, though 
nobody can tell in what, superior to the other members, have 
a little contributed. 

In truth I am no more than a mere member of the Board, 
with the only distinct power of a casting vote when the 
members are equal (a privilege which I never perhaps shall 
make use of) and with no other pre-eminence besides that of 
a greater responsibility. The powers which you have given 
me to try, condemn and dismiss such of the Council as have 
fallen under your jc,ensure for trading in the articles you have 
proscribed, tend fn the exercise of them to destroy the few 
which I possess, as they influence every man's resentment and 
arm every man's hand against me, who can keep himself with- 
out the narrow circle of my jurisdiction. Indeed they are safe 
for some time, for I have not time to enter upon the enquiries. 
It is more than I can manage to work through the labor of the 
day. I cannot look back, and I speak with confidence when 
I declare that I have never suffered my private concerns nor 
amusement nor pleasure, nor the duties of society, to draw me 
a day from those of my station, nor even an hour which I did 
not repay from the time which ought to have been allotted to 
rest. Do not therefore blame me, nor suffer me to be blamed 
for what I have not done, but give me credit for the quantity 
and importance of what has been done. 



When I have said that I have not spent my time idly, I do 
not mean to acquit myself of having given some part of it to 
Pnprofitable labors. It has been my own care to select such 
matters as most claimed my attention and to apply myself 
principally to them. But there is a gentleman of our Council 
who seems to think that every subject that comes before the 
Board or that he can intrude up^n it ought to go through 
a long discussion. I mean Mr. Barwell. He has talents for 
opposition and his minutes appear plentifully* scattered upon 
our consultations. He has been encouraged indeed to practise 
this by a compliment which the Court of Directors were 
pleased to pay him inflate General Letter for having dissented 
from the Board respeCTing the Navy donation, from which he 
did not dissent. I do not believe he set out with any personal 
objections to me. I have reason to believe the contrary. 
But such were the effects of his altercations, doubts, dissents, 
rephes and rejoinders on points of the most trivial nature, in 
obstructing the current business, and souring the temper of 
our debates, that I have been under the necessity of taking 
public notice of it. . . . [vide a Minute in Consultations]. I 
should not have thought it necessary to have said so much or 
anything about him, but that I understand he has made it 
a practice to give his opinions of men and manners to his 
correspondents in England, and that he has had many scribes 
employed for some days past. I have judged it necessary 
therefore to give you this caution. I myself detest clandestine 
correspondence, but I fear the effects of it, having had some 
instances of their influence since I have been in India, which 
give me cause to fear them. 

Mr. Barwell has replied to the minute which I have above 
referred to with much temper and in a ma^er which seems 
to promise the cessation of hostilities on his part. Whether he 
means to resume them after the despatch of the Lapwing, or 
really wishes to be at peace, I know not. I am determined not 
to resume the warfare. It is not possible to conduct your 
affairs and a literary war with those who ought to help me bear 
the load of your service. . . . Your letter brings me back again 
to the subject of the extraordinary powers delegated to me. 
They are indeed a heavy burden on my shoulders. You say 
* I must exercise them I cannot exercise them. I have 
daily resolved for these 6 weeks past to begin with Lushington 
and am not without materials. But it has been impossible. 
I could not find a vacant hour into which I could thrust 
a business of this kind and it would require a week. The 
enquiry into the ready-money purchases of piece goods I 



referred (through necessity) to a Committee before I went 
up country. It has never met. Now hear what I have to do, 
and blame me if you can for neglect and disobedience. v 

1. Enquiry just mentioned into facts of 3 years' standing. 

2. An enquiry into the conduct of the Board of Trade. 

3. An enquiry into the conduct of Mr. Lushington during 

the famine and ^ 

4. that of the dealers in grain. ^ 

5. An enquiny into the conduct of Mohamed Reza Cawn. 

6. old Shitab Roy. 

And Accounts and papers demanded which have been regu- 
larly transmitted or which are not in being ; and end- 
less depositions to be taken with threats of severe 
resentments if we fail in any of these injunctions. 
These are the duties which have been prescribed by the 
Court of Directors and which respect past transactions. They 
may wait and the Company suffer no injury by the delay. 
The following arise out of the immediate necessities of the 
service and cannot wait : — 

1. The official inspection and regulation of the different 

expences of this Government — a work begun 6 months 
ago but suspended. 

2. The establishment of the new Courts of Justice in the 

districts ; 

3. of the 2 Superior Courts at the Presidency. 

4. The final adjustment and retrenchment of the Nabob's 

expence, a work w^hich cost me many hours' laborious 
employment at the City and is yet incomplete. 

5. The Settlement of the remainder of the Province, of 

which the Board will have no other trouble than to 
confirm ot-amend the plans formed by the gentlemen 

6. The final conclusion of the Settlement of Beerboom and 

Bissenpoor, Pacheat, Jessore, Hugli, Midnapore and 
the Calcutta Pergunnahs (hitherto left to be dealt with 
by members of Council at Calcutta). 

7. Military and political operations with the Vizier to regu- 


8. The business of the Investment to settle, if possible on 

the plans directed in your letters of last year. 

9. The new office of the Khalsa is already well formed and 

the business goes on in it better than I could have 
expected in its infancy, but it requires a daily attention. 
Besides these, which are all I can now recollect, the daily 
and current business is of an endless variety. This will not 



wait. Stewart has possession of his place as Secretary to the 
Board and is of great relief to me. We have formed a new 
Council and a new Secretary for the department of Revenue 
which are also a relief to him. Mr. Higginson is the Secretary 
of this department, and this gentleman was one of the Collec- 
tors, afterwards one of the Moorshedabad Council. He is high 
in the service and has abilities jjind pretensions to the most 
lucrative appointments. This was offered to him and accepted 
with a cheerfulness which does him great creciit. He has great 
merit in the diligence with which he has acquitted himself in it. 

By throwing the business into the proper channels, and 
getting able hands conduct it, I hope by degrees to free 
myself from the shaVe which falls too heavily upon me of the 
detail, and to have nothing to do but to inspect, superintend, 
and direct. I hope to begin next week with Shitab Roy and 
soon after with Mohamed Reza Cawn. The former I fancy 
will soon be acquitted, the latter not so easily, for I believe 
him to have been very culpable, and apprehend that fresh 
charges will appear against him. 

You will meet with a great deal of dry discussion in our 
Revenue letter.^ But it is founded on real facts, and will be 
worth your attention as they are the groundwork of all we 
have done since in the Revenue. One good quality I hope 
you will discover both in our advices concerning the Revenue 
and in the future accounts of it, viz. that they will be capable 
of being easily understood. It shall be my first care to free 
both from the obscurity in which they have been hitherto 
enveloped, and to make the latter as simple as the other 
accounts of the Presidency. 

[Documents 17 ^0 20 relate to the retom of the Civil 

No. 17. The Board of Inspection, 

Bengal Public Consultations, Range i, vol. 51, p. 132. 
April 24, 1772. 

Resolved that the Board do assemble every Evening at 
6 o'clock for this purpose (to enter upon an Inspection of the 
different Offices at the Presidency with a view to establish 
effectual Regulations for the future conduct of them, and 
especially to retrench any superfluous Article of the Expences 
which appear to be greatly increased), and that the Heads of 
the several Offices be directed immediately to prepare and 

* Vide Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 2, Range 67, vol. 55, 
pp. 5-88. 



send in to the Secretary Estimates of their Disbursements, 
as well those that are established, as such as are contingent 
and fluctuating framed upon a Medium of what they generally 
amount to, and these Estimates to be accompanied with the 
three preceding Months' accounts and Calculates of the 
monthly Average Demand of Articles expended in the offices 
of the several Storekeepers ai id Buxey etc. ^ 

No. i8. Board of Inspection (continued). 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 6i ; General Letter. 

November lo, 1772. 

Para. 6. In conformity to our Resolution of 24th April last 
we formed ourselves into a Board of Inspection and con- 
tinued our Meetings with little Interruption till the Depar- 
ture of the President and Committee of Circuit. We proceeded 
to inspect the publick Offices, regulate them, reduce their 
Expenses, and had already marked out the Ground of con- 
siderable saving to the Company. 

Our Labours in so necessary a work shall be again renewed, 
and we hope to be able this Season to transmit you an accurate 
Account of their Success. ^ 

No. ig. Appointment of Mr. Barwell to he Chief of Dacca 
and Mr. Lane to he Chief of Patna. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 20 ; General Letter, Public Department. 

August 16, 1773. 

Para. 16. Conformably to your Commands of the 24th 
November, Mr. Barwell was appointed to the Chiefship of 
Dacca. ... 

Para. 17. ... Mr. Lane was at the same time appointed to 
the Chiefship of Patna. It next became a serious Object of 
our Consideration, what Mode could be adopted at the Sub- 
ordinates under the Direction of these Gentlemen to retrench 
the expenses thereof as much as possible ; nothing appeared 
to us better calculated to effect this End than placing the 
Business of the Factories as well as the Revenue under them 
as Residents with Assistants instead of a Council, and we 
accordingly carried this Plan into Execution by abolishing 
the Councils at the two former places^ and at Cossimbuzar. 

Para. 18. The Resident will receive equal Aid in the Execu- 
tion of the Business from the Gentlemen in their Capacity of 
Assistants as he would have done had they been Members of 
' i.e. Dacca and Patna. 




a Council. The Responsibility will now rest on him in the 
i Provision of the Investment as it does in the Collection of the 
Revenue, instead of its being lodged in a Collective Body 
where it can neither with Precision be defined nor Blame fixed 
in case of Failure in Quantity or Defects in Quality. 

Para. 19. (Board of Inspection retrenching both the charges 
etc. of the Ofiicei at the PresidAicy and all the Subordinate 

Para. 22. We informed you that the Duties due by the 
Society of Trade A. had been compleatly paid up, and that of 
those due from the Society B. there remained a Ballance of 
Current Rupees 6,6Cf 920,15, 9. This Ballance has been since 
reduced. . . . We have Reason to expect farther Payments 
soon, and that the whole will be liquidated before the final 
Departure of the Ships of this Season. 

Para. 23. For investigating the Proceedings of this Society 
we have appointed a Committee consisting of a Member of 
Council and four Junior Servants, and they are accordingly 
prosecuting their Enquiries in Conformity to your Orders of 
the 25th of March 1772. 

No. 20. Board of Inspection, Auditor, &c. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 104; General Letter, Public Department. 

November 10, 1773. 

Para. 49. By the Proceedings of the Board of Inspection 
transmitted on this Packet, you will perceive the progress we 
have made in the retrenchment of our Civil expenses. We 
were too sensible of the necessity of this reform to relax in our 
endeavours to effect this necessary work ; the Regulation of 
all the Subordinates is completed, by whicr%, very great saving 
has been made. To instance at Patna what was effected 
during the President's stay there on his way to Benares, it 
will not be less than 50,000 rupees a year. We have also 
passed through the different Offices at the Presidency except- 
ing those of the Military Storekeeper and Master Attendant, 
which though not completed have occupied a great share of 
our time and labor and we hope will be also finished by the 
departure of our latter ships. 

Para. 50. As we have found by repeated experience of many 
years past that the many useful regulations which have from 
time to time been formed have proved of no effect from want 
of some immediate authority to enforce an obedience to them. 
We have established the Office of Auditor in this department 
to inspect and pass the different accounts conformably to the 



arrangements, which Office is now held in weekly succession 
by the different Members of our Administration ; and as the ^ 
establishments shall be finally completed in the several Offices 
and at the Subordinates the Auditor will be enabled easily to 
form his weekly report and will always prevent deviation from 
these rules. 

No. 21, Reform of the Military Establishment. Pargana 
Battalions abolished. 

Extract from letter of Gen. Barker^ dated January 27, 1772. 
Bengal Public Consultations, Range i, vol^si, Feb. 17, 1772. 

. . . ever since the Establishment of the Pergunnah Sepoys 
I have seen a Confusion entering into the Army which will 
require your serious Attention to digest and regulate. If 
anything tends to weaken the Civil Authority in this Govern- 
ment it is this motley System, this Blending of the Civil and 
Military Authority together in the Pergunnah Service. The 
Civil has the Supreme Authority ; may it ever remain so. 
But when it descends into the Minutia, the executive part of 
the Military Department and your Civil Servants become 
Military Men, so much does it lose of its Supremacy, by giving 
those Advantages, where disputed Authority becomes in ques- 
tion, and you can scarcely clear it from your Civil power. 

[This is reproduced as it stands in the Records and is some- 
what obscure. For abolition of Pargana Battalions vide 
p. 217, also Bengal Secret Consultations ^ Range A. 25, p. 28.] 

No. 22. Hastings' ^J^etter to Colebrooke, Chairman of Directors. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29127. 

April 20, 1772. 

. . . This Government like that of St. George is embarrassed 
and disturbed by internal dissensions. The present subject 
is|a claim of a greater independency in the Military than is 
thought consistent with the authority of Government. This 
pretension has in some instances been carried to the length of 
a control over the Civil Government. It is impossible that 
you should have time to read a Bengal Court Martial. Those 
on Capt. Mackenzie and Mr. Feltham . . . contain a striking 
portrait of the manners of the time and the nature of your 
present system. If possible I beseech you to read it as well as 
the letter of Major Morgan, the President of that Council. 


He has been dismissed for disrespect to the Board and an 
Ipivowal of principles which tend to subvert the true powers of 
Government. I do not think the Board wholly exempt from 
blame. An excess of violence on one side scarce ever fails to 
cause a bias on the other. Let me add that it is impossible for 
this Government not to commit error. I cannot find words to 
convey to you an iiea of its embaAassments nor of the multi- 
plicity of business which continually waits for its decisions. 
It has not time for caution and slow delilDeration. Your 
affairs will run headlong to ruin if your servants are made 
responsible for every stumble which in the hurry of your 
affairs they may maA against the forms of law. I assure 
myself you will weigh the consequences of the decision which 
the Court of Directors shall pass on these disputes. The 
authority and credit of your Government depends essentially 
upon it. Were a clear and precise line drawn between the 
two powers and were it declared by the authority of our 
superiors how far the delegated authority of Government shall 
extend these contests would cease. I may seem to dwell too 
much on a point of so trivial an appearance, but, believe me, 
Sir, there is great danger in the habit of contention between 
the Civil and Military powers. It may grow into an irrecon- 
cilable hatred and animosity unless timely checked by the 
hand of authority. If such a temper should ever take root 
and those who compose the strength of your state find that 
they may exercise it without control and as they please with 
impunity I leave you to judge what will follow. Your military 
establishment is the spring of government. The civil power 
forms its wheels, which restrain the force of the former and 
enable it to give an equal and permanent motion to the whole 
machine. If you weaken or loosen the wheels the force of the 
spring will prevail irresistibly for a few moments and then the 
machine will stop for ever, for I know not the artificer that can 
set it going again. 

No. 23. Dacoits. 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, Range 67, vol. 55, p. 210. 
November 17, 1772. 

Rungpore, November 4, 1772. 
The Decoits are now assembling in such numerous bodies 
committing robberies and murders throughout the Rungpore 
districts that I much fear the revenues will fall short and be 
greatly impeded unless you will be pleased to augment the 



number of sepoys stationed here. For they send daily to 
villages demanding sums of *money of them or threatening 
their destruction if they refuse, nor dare they send in their 
collections from the distant parts. ... A Sirdar of pikes 
belonging to one of the Zemindars undertook to bring in one 
Mogul, a noted decoit ; the Sirdar and his nephew were found 
in a Haut called Cossigung4 by Mogul and his party, which he 
had raised to the number of a hundred ; Mogul cut them to 
pieces with his' own hands in open day and in the face of a 
number of people, whom he threatened with death if they 
dared to stir. . . . 

There are hourly complaints comingi .1 against the decoits. 
And the very prison itself in the middle of the town of Rung- 
pore has been attempted to be broke, but the people though 
discovered at the time have found means to get off. 

Charles Purling, Collector. 

[Government authorize a reward of Rs. 1,000 for Mogul's 
capture ; and advocate the employment of sepoys to restore 

Bengal Revenue Consultations, 8, Range 49, vol. 45. 

April 19, 1774. 

The Board having thought proper to commit the superin- 
tendence of the Courts instituted for the trial of offences 
against the public Peace to my especial care. . . . 

Although the most beneficial consequences may be expected 
from the establishment of these courts, from the regular pro- 
cess with which they are conducted, and the equal distribution 
of justice which is thus provided for in every part of this exten- 
sive and populouf country, yet I cannot avoid expressing my 
apprehension that these benefits are reserved to a period of 
more established order than the present Administration has 
yet had time to effect and that the public tranquillity will not 
be secured without the exertion of other and extraordinary 
means. At this time I have repeated complaints from all 
parts of the province of the multitude of decoits who have 
infested it for some years past and have been guilty of the 
most daring and alarming excesses. ... I know not whether 
the knowledge of these evils has been officially communicated 
to the Board. To me it has only come through the channels 
of private information, as I do not recollect to have heard the 
slightest intimation of them from the Zemindars, Farmers or 
other officers of the Revenue, which may appear extraordinary 
but that I am assured that the Zemindars themselves too 




frequently afford them protection and that the ryots, who 
l^re the principal sufferers by these ravages, dare not complain, 
^t being an established maxim with the decoits to punish with 

death every information given against them. 
The remedies for this evil will be best discovered from the 

knowledge of the means which have contributed to produce it, 

these may be reduced to the follo\^nng heads : 

I. Abolition of the Fouzdari jurisdiction and of the Tan- 
nadaris dependent on it. This institution provided for the 
security of the public peace and provided the means of con- 
veying regular intelligence of every disorder or casualty which 
happened in any part^^f the provinces. By its removal the 
confidence of the decoits has been increased, nor has any other 
means been substituted for giving intelligence to the Govern- 
ment of such events as relate to the peace of the country. 

II. The resumption of the Chaukeraun Zemeen or lands 
allotted to the Tannadars and pykes for their services in 
guar3ing the villages and larger districts against robberies. 

Many of the people thus deprived of their livelihood have 
themselves turned decoits, such of the monthly servants 
allowed by our late regulations as received their allotted p^y 
are wholly employed for the farmers in the service of the 
collections, but the greater part I am assured have their wages 
wholly withheld from them, so that none of them are of any 
utility to the community. This may perhaps account for the 
silence of the farmers with respect to the disorders committed 
in their districts. 

III. The farming system . . . useful as this is to the general 
welfare of the state, and of the people, it is one of the principal 
sources of the disorderly state of the Mofussil by the removal 
of that claim which the public by immemofcal usage before 
possessed to the restitution of all damages and losses sustained 
by robbers, on the Zemindars of the country. These having 
no longer the same authority cannot be held accountable as 
they formerly were for the effects of it, although the right of 
government has never been formally renounced. The Farmers 
who stand in their places ought indeed to be made answerable 
for the disorders proceeding from their neglect, but whatever 
they were compelled to pay on this account would be brought 
into their balances at the end of the year, and would thus fall 
ultimately on the Government itself. 

IV. I am sorry to enumerate among the causes of the 
increase of robbers the regularity and precision which has been 
introduced into our new Courts of Justice. 

The dread which the common people entertain of the decoits 

1526*9 o 



and the difficulty which even without such an impression 
must attend the conviction of an offender of this kind, howevt ' 
notorious, before a Mahommedan Court, which requires tvA. 
possible evidences in every capital case, afford them an assur- 
ance of impunity in the prosecution of their crimes ; since 
they generally carry on their designs in the night or under 
disguises. Among those ^ho have been oonvicted of robbery 
I do not recollect an instance in the proceedings upon their 
trial in which their guilt has been proved by evidence, but by 
their own confession only ; this has occurred in so many 
instances that I am not without a suspicion that it is often 
attained by improper means. i 

The Chiefs of these banditti are generally as well known 
to be such as if they were invested with a legal and public 
authority for the command which they exercise, yet it would 
be scarce possible to prove any direct fact against them on 
which they could be condemned, and I have heard the names 
of some who have been taken up and examined on the 
notoriety of their character, but have been acquitted and 
released for want of evidence against them . . . with such 
offenders the authorised practice of the former Government 
has ever been to ascertain the identity of the men, and to 
condemn them without waiting for further process to estab- 
lish any specific charge against them. I know to what I expose 
myself by recommending a practice so repugnant to the equity 
and tenderness of our own constitution : but from a principle 
superior to every consideration which may affect myself, 
I venture to declare that unless this Government adopts the 
same summary mode of proceeding in such cases as I have 
described I see no probability of freeing this country from the 
worst of oppre^oion, or restoring it to security and order. 
A rigid observance of the letter of the law is a blessing in 
a well regulated state, but in a Government loose as that of 
Bengal is, and must be f©r some years to come, an extraor- 
dinary and exemplary coercion must be applied to eradicate 
those evils which the law cannot reach. 

I now proceed to describe the remedy to these disorders, as 
it is pointed out by the causes to which I have attributed 
them. I propose that a Fouzdar be appointed to the stations 
" (hereafter mentioned for the protection of the inhabitants, for 

!the detection and apprehension of public robbers within their 
Tespective districts, and for transmitting constant intelligence 
of all matters relating to the peace of the country to the Presi- 
' dency : 

. . . that the Farmers, Zemindars and other officers of thei 



. Collections be enjoined to afford them all possible assistance in 
we discharge of their duty, and to obey such orders as they 
^ay have occasion to issue for that purpose : 
; That the farmers do make over to them the land servants 
^allowed for their respective districts, who shall be under the 
iabsolute command of the Fouzdar^: 

I That the Chauk^raun Zemeen or lands allotted for the 
"maintenance of the Tannadars and pykes, wljich have been 
resumed and included in the Jumma, may be again separated 
from it and applied to their original design. 

I cannot better recommend this institution than by men- 
tioning it as the univeAal practice of all the nations in India, 
and of the remotest antiquity. I am assured that the lands 
which have been resumed from this service yield little revenue 
to the Government, having been mostly deserted by their 
former proprietors : 

That the jurisdiction of each Fouzdar be ascertained by 
proper limits ; that he be made responsible for the due main- 
tenance of the peace within that space ; but that it may be 
lawful and enjoined him to send his officers, when occasion 
may require it, beyond those limits for the apprehending of 
offenders, and that they be all strictly enjoined to co-operate 
and assist each other for that effect : 

That an officer be established under the control and autho- ^ 
rity of the President for receiving and registering all reports 
from the Fouzdars, and issuing orders to them : 

That such of the Zemindars or farmers as shall be convicted 
of having neglected to assist the Fouzdars in the execution of 
their trust shall be made responsible for any loss sustained by 
such misconduct or otherwise fined accordinputo the nature of 
the offence, but that all persons of whatever degree or pro- 
fession who shall be convicted of receiving fees or other 
pecuniary acknowledgements from robbers knowing them to 
be such, or of abetting or conniving in any way at their prac- 
tices, shall be adjudged equally criminal with them and 
punished with death, and that this be immediately made 
public throughout the province. . . . 

The only objection to which this plan is liable is the expense, 
but I with confidence hazard the assertion that this will not 
equal the loss the cultivation and revenue are liable to from 
the continuance of the present disorders — although not 
reducible to any estimate I am assured that many villages, 
especially in Jessore and Rahmudshahee, pay a regular Mal- 
guzarree to the Chiefs of the Decoits, from which, if they can 
be freed, the ryots will certainly be better enabled to pay their 

P 2 



rents to the Government, independently of the improvement 
which their lands may be expected to receive from a state 
quiet and security. ^ 

No. 24. Kuch Behar and Sunny asis. 
Bengal Letters, vol.Sci, p. 268 ; Secret Department. 

January 15, 1773. 

Para. 6. Some time ago the Rajah of Cose Bahar applied to 
us through our Collector of Rungpore for assistance against 
the Boutanners, a nation who inhabit: the mountains to the 
Northward of that Province an*d who have of late years, partly 
by force and partly by treachery, obtained a dangerous influ- 
ence in these parts. 

Para. 7. Cose Bahar was formerly a part of Bengal, and the 
present Rajah (a Minor), by means of the Nazir Dir his 
^ Minister, offered, on condition of our lending him assistance to 
drive the Boutanners from his country, once more to put it 
under the dominion of Bengal, and to pay to the Company 
half the Revenue he draws from it. 

Para. 8. In deliberating on these affairs we had more in 
consideration the peace and security of our present possessions 
than any advantage to be derived from the new acquisition 
we were flattered with ; for as your District of Rungpore has 
been frequently exposed to the incursions of the Boutanners 
and the Collection of the Revenue, drawn from part of Cose 
Bahar which depends on Rungpore, thereby rendered very 
precarious, it became a matter of direct interest to embrace 
any opportunity which offered of expelling those people from 
these countriesf'and confining them within the limits of their 
own mountains. 

Para. 9. In this view we agreed to the proposal of the Nazir 
Dir and ordered Capt. Jones to proceed immediately with four 
Companies of Sepoys and two. pieces of cannon on the expedi- 
tion, and as the Committee of Circuit were then in those parts 
we employed them to negociate and settle the treaty between 
the Company and the Rajah. A copy goes a number in this 

Para. 10. You will observe that there is a clause in the 
treaty which leaves it to the ratification of your Honourable 
Court. In the meantime we shall endeavour to see all the 
conditions carried provisionally into execution. Our troops 
have hitherto met with all the success we could wish, Capt. 
Jones haviiig carried the town of Bahar by assault with no 


considerable loss, although we hope so spirited a beginning 
miW serve in a good degree to intimidate the Boutanners we 
^ave ordered a reinforcement to Capt. Jones, that he may be 
able to pursue with efficiency his first advantage and bring the 
matter to a speedy issue. 

Para. 12. At the . . . Board it was resolved, for the better 
protection of the Districts of RajaAal and Boglepoor from the 
depredations of the banditti who inhabit the neighbouring 
mountains, to raise and establish a new corps 01' Light Infantry 
to be employed on that service. The command has been 
given to Capt. Robert Brooke. . . . 

Para. 13. A set of -Jtwless banditti known under the name 
of Sunnasses or Faquirs have long infested these countries \^ 
and under the pretence of religious pilgrimages have been 
accustomed to traverse the chief part of Bengal, begging, 
stealing, and plundering wherever they go and as it best suits 
their convenience to practise. 

About a month ago intelligence was received by the Collec- 
tor of Rungpore that a body of these men had come into his 
District and were plundering and ravaging the villages as 
usual. Upon this he immediately detached Capt. Thomas 
with a small party of Pergunnah Seapoys, or those troops who 
were employed only in the Collections, to try to repress them. 
Capt. Thomas soon came up with them and attacked them 
with considerable advantage, but his seapoys imprudently 
expending their ammunition and getting into confusion, they 
were at length totally defeated and Capt. Thomas, with 
almost the whole party, cut off. This affair, although dis- 
agreeable on account of the death of a gallant officer, can have 
no other bad consequence, as we have taken proper steps to 
(subject) these people to a severe chastisv%ient, and at all 
events to drive them from the country, and we hope from the 
precautions which we now find it necessary to take, of station- 
ing a more considerable force on these frontiers, effectually to 
put an end in the future incur,sions of the Sunnasses. 

Nq. 25. Punishment of Mutiny. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 253 ; General Letter, Public Department. 

January 15, 1773. 

Para. 32. We are sorry to acquaint you that Captain Evans, 
commanding a battalion in your service, was shot dead at the 
head of your troops by a sepoy officer he had reduced for bad 



Capt. Camac, next in command, called a Council of Officers 
on the spot, and had the ruffian dragged to death by horses ia 
the front of the line. V 

So exemplary a punishment, although perhaps attended 
with some irregularity, we deemed highly necessary on so 
extraordinary an occasion and approved of Capt. Camac's 
conduct accordingly. (• , 

No. 26. Operations against the Bhutanese. 
British Museum Add. MS. 29198, p. 121. 

Canip at Baginiss Guat. 

Copy of Orders by Capt, Stewart. 
January 28, 1773. 


As the superiority of English sepoys over their enemies, as 
likewise their own safety, consist entirely in their steadiness 
and attentiveness to the commands of their officers, it is 
ordered that no black officer or sepoy pretend to act or quit 
his post without positive orders to that purpose from an Euro- 
pean officer, under pain of being tried as a traitor to the ser- 
vice. Should the troops be fortunate enough to come to 
action, when Capt. Stewart gives the order to make ready, 
front rank are to kneel without cocking their firelocks ; and 
when the word * fire ' is given instead of presenting they are to 
rest the points of their bayonets upon the ground, and come 
to a recover as soon as the rear ranks have discharged. They 
are to remain in t!;;is position until the rear ranks have primed 
and loaded, without the enemy by pushing on render their 
giving fire necessary, in which case they will receive orders for 
that purpose, but not until the enemy are close upon them. 
Should any man fire without orders he is to be put to death 
upon the spot. As the order to commence firing will not be 
given till the enemy are very near, it is expected the men will 
level truly and do great havock amongst them. . . . 

February 2nd. Camp near Jellpye Gowrie.* 

From the behaviour of the troops this morning in front of 
the united army of the Rajah and the Sunassies, Capt. Stewart 

^ Jalpaiguri or Julpigoree, on the Tista River, capital of a district 
forming the northern boundary of Rungpore ; now in Rajshahi. Lat. 
26° 31' 20", Long. 88° 45' 38". 



is sorry to say that his utmost efforts to their honor and 

•safety nlust fall far short of their intent, without his orders 
are more regularly obeyed and attended to ; one hundred well 
disciplined and regular troops if opposed to the battalion must 
have gained a certain victory over them. The bravery of the 
troops Capt. Stewart is perfectly satisfied with, but their 
irregularity would, undoubtedly -lave made them a prey to 
their enemies had they only availed themselves of their mis- 
behaviour. » 

In future it is positively ordered, that any black ofHcer, non- 
commissioned officer or sepoy who shall presume to quit his 
rank be instantly putj|o death on the spot. 

As regularity and obedience are our grand and only supe- 
riority, they cannot be too rigorously enforced : Where the 
honor and the lives of the Whole are concerned, it is justice to 
destroy that part which would foolishly throw them away. 
But should a future opportunity bring us face to face with our 
enemies, Capt. Stewart still sincerely hopes that the behaviour 
of the troops will render this severe order unnecessary. 

Robert Stewart, Captain 3rd Brigade. 

Report of Capt, Stewart enclosing above Order. 
Hon. Sir, 

The severity of the Order after the action of the 2nd inst. 
is certainly too much, for never did men behave with a nobler 
or steadier resolution than the 19th Battalion showed on that 
occasion and persevered in till the enemy were most com- 
pletely routed : but as it is my opinion that the smallest 
tendency to irregularity in soldiers cannot be too palpably 
stigmatized, I chose the very moment o'!k their success to 
severely upbraid them for being over anxious in the pursuit, 
determined to convince them that success and victory should 
not excuse the slightest impropriety or deviation from orders. 
When I assure you upon my Ijonor, that there were only forty 
odd cartridges expended that day, though I formed the 
Battalion in the very teeth of the enemy, and was within 50 
yards of them before they took to flight, I make no doubt but 
that you will readily allow the conduct of the Battalion to 
have been such as seldom happens in this or any other country, 

Robert Stewart. 



No. 27. Bhutanese and Sunny asis : further operations. ^ 
Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 362 ; Secret Department. 
March i, 1773. 

Para. 15. In our last we acquainted you with the treaty we 
had entered into with the Mazir Dir of Cope Bahar, and with 
our operations in course. We have now the pleasure of 
informing you • that everything has succeeded there to our 
wish. The Bou tanners continue to retire before Capt. Jones, 
and the capital of Durrup Deo, the Zemindar of Bycunpore, 
who was in alliance with the Boutai|;"ers, has been lately 
taken by Capt. Stewart at the head of the 19th Battalion, 
which was detached into the country after the Sunassies, 
a service which by accident became connected with the other. 
The Boutanners have lately made overtures for peace, but on 
them we can have no reliance, nor shall they interrupt our 
operations, which we shall continue until we have effectually 
settled their country. 

Para. 16. After the defeat of Capt. Thomas' party we took 
every precaution to prevent any further danger from the 
Sunassies and also to bring them to punishment for the past. 
We ordered out parties everywhere in pursuit of them and, 
as we have noted above, ordered Capt. Stewart, who was on 
his march down the country, immediately to turn off with his 
Battalion in quest of them, and obtained every advantage 
that could be expected against an enemy that came only to 
plunder, and would not hazard a defeat ; and we have the 
satisfaction to inform you that the country, which, a little more 
than two months ago, was overrun with them, is now entirely 
cleared from thf^-^i. The disposition which we have since 
formed for the security of your frontiers will, we hope, prove 
an effectual prevention against the like disturbances hereafter. 
We have been more full in our advices upon this subject than 
perhaps it may merit from its real importance, because we 
consider it as one of those points which derive their impor- 
tance from popular opinion. Their ravages have never been 
marked by any very bad effects on the Colle^^tions or peace of 
the country, neither indeed do we apprehend any great loss 
from the violences to which they have proceeded in the late 
invasion, but the loss of Capt. Thomas, an officer of distin- 
guished merit and held in general esteem, has drawn the 
attention of the public upon them and furnished us with an 
additional motive for maintaining the credit of your Govern- 
ment against the like insults. 


Para. 17. In conformity to your orders for new regulating 
.ggthe Army we have entirely abolished the distinction of the 
ffrurgunnah Seapoys, reformed the Supernumerary Battalions, 
and otherwise put the whole army on a new establishment. 

March 31, 1773. 

Para. i. Our last from this department was dated the ist of 
this month and went by the Rockingham. 

Para. 2. We then informed you, in consequence of the assur- 
ances which we ourselves had received from various parts of 
the Province, that the Sunassies had entirely abandoned the 
country. We are now concerned to contradict this intelligence 
and to mention that they still continue in different bodies to 
traverse and distress the country. 

Para. 3. Every step however has been taken to intercept 
and expel them. Four Battalions of sepoys are actually 
employed on this service. Positive orders have also been 
issued under severe penalties to all Zemindars and Farmers to 
send the earliest intelligence of their route and motions, and 
we are in hopes that these measures will have some degree of 
success, tho' it is remarkable that we meet obstacles every 
day in the superstition of the inhabitants, who in spite of the 
cruelties and oppressions which they undergo from these 
people are so bigoted in their veneration for them as to endea- 
vour on every occasion to screen them from the punishment 
which they are exposed to from our Government. 

Para. 4. Capt. Edwards, who was earl'j^despatched with 
three Companies of Purgunnah Seapoys on me first advice of 
Capt. Thomas' defeat, after a long series of fruitless attempts 
to come up with and engage them unhappily underwent the 
same fate, and as it appears through the cowardice of his 
seapoys, who deserted him ii? an action with a great body of 
Sunassies whom he encountered in the district of Silberris. 

November 10, 1773. 

Para. 17. In our advices from the General Department by 
the ships of the last season, you were informed of our having 
raised a Battalion of Light Infantry for the purpose of reducing 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 429 ; Secret Department. 

No. 29. Hill-men of Rajmahal, 
Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 152 ; Revenue Department. 



to subjection the refractory mountain chiefs, whose countries 
are situated between Monghir, Boglepore and Beerbhum. Thar 
President in the Consultation of the 22nd of June acquaintecr 
us with the success which had attended the operations of Capt. 
Brooke in the execution of this plan, particulars of which are 
recorded in that day's Proceedings. 

In consequence thereof ^e formed an arrangement autho- 
rizing Capt. Brooke to consult with the Collectors of Monghir, 
Boglepore and "Beerbhum, and make the Settlement of the 
districts he might reduce to subjection in their several Collec- 
torships, but upon reconsidering this subject in the Consul- 
tations of the 15th of October, upon Vne President's return 
from Patna, we determined that the whole of these mountain- 
ous countries should be left to the management of Capt. 
Brooke as the Revenue from them is too inconsiderable for 
the expense of a Civil Establishment, and as, under the 
arrangement we had before planned, Capt. Brooke was con- 
tinually liable to embarrassments by contradictory applica- 
tions from the different Collectors. We have directed him now 
to correspond with the Board of Revenue on the business 
of the Collections and to follow solely the orders of the Presi- 
dent in carrying on his military operations. It does not 
appear that any considerable addition is likely to be made 
to the Collections by the acquisition of these districts, but 
it will contribute to maintain peace and tranquillity in the 
interior parts of the Province, which for many years past have 
been continually infested by the ravages of the wild and law- 
less inhabitants of the mountains, and the suppression of their 
disorders will eventually produce an increase to the Revenue 
in those Districts which lye contiguous to the hills. 

We have in likt- manner separated the districts of Ramgur, 
Polamow and Nagpore from the Province of Bahar and con- 
tinued them under the management of Capt. Camac with 
similar instructions to those given to Capt. Brooke. 

[The original dispatches on the subjects treated in Nos. 21-29 
are to be found in the Bengal Secret Consultations, Range A. 25.] 




Trade in 1772 — The Investment ; faults of the Gomaitah system, of the 
Dadni system — Comptroller of the Investment — Company's Bond Debts 
reduced — General Trade — Declining Asiatic trade — Customs Reforms — 
Final abolition of Dustuks — The Oudh door reopened — State appro- 
priates monopolies in SUlt and Opium — Reforms of Currency. 

The whole complicated mass of trade concerns suffered from 
the disorders in Bengal between 1757 and 1772, and it had 
become an imperative necessity to reorganize each branch of 
trade on the basis of the Company's new responsibility. 

The abuse of the inland trade had indeed been condemned 
and checked, at least in its open manifestations, by the Regu- 
lations of 1768,^ but even the Company's investment and the 
permitted private trade of its servants caused inevitable 
friction with the Nizamut under the Dual System. For while 
that endured, the first object of every covenanted servant 
was commercial — to procure goods cheaply, whether for him- 
self or his employers. This aim brought him unavoidably 
into conflict with the revenue officer of the Nizamut ; for the 
ryot-weaver was the victim of both. If on the one hand he 
paid the tax-gatherer's exorbitant demand^^e had no means 
left for carrying out his weaving contract, and the English 
agent took summary vengeance. More often the latter was 
first in the field and, since he cared nothing if the revenue was 
defrauded, protected the weaver by force against the claims 
of the Nizamut until such time as the cloth pledged to the 
Company was completed. 

But when the East India Company began to receive the 
revenues the rival interests coalesced, and the English per- 
ceived that to remove the oppressions of trade was the direct 
way to stimulate the growth of revenue, and that they could 
only do so by themselves exercising the government. When 

1 Vide Chap. III. 


they assumed the Diwani the trade became of secondary 
importance to them, while care of the ryot's welfare, upoi^ 
which hung the returns of revenue and trade alike, was bound 
to take the first place in any statesmanlike view. It did so 
with Hastings, but it was some years before the Directors saw 
the need for it as plainly a^^ie. r 

His administration of trade afiairs is to be considered under 
two aspects. Inhere was first the question of the Company's 
investment, and setojldly that.of the general trade of Bengal. 
By his commercial experience Hastir^-^s was well equipped 
to deal with the one ; as Governor he would have a greater 
interest in fostering the other. 

The state of the investrn^nt Hastings could judge from his 
recent experience in Madras. There he had spared no pains 
to introduce the gomastah system,^ and he would gladly have 
continued the same in Bengal, as he held that it offered less 
scope for oppression. He was, however, debarred from such 
a course by a recent dispatch in which the Directors had 
ordered his predecessors ^ to abolish the gomastah in favour 
of the Dadni method. * As freedom in trade is necessarilyl 
productive of its increase, the mode of providing your Invest*! 
ments by Gomastahs, Delols and Pykars must be a perpetualj 
bar to that freedom ... we therefore hereby order and direct 
that you revert to your former practice of providing Invest- 
ments by contracts with Dadney Merchants ; invite as great 
a number of Meigjhants to deliver Proposals, and make your 
contracts as extensive as possible. . . . We assure ourselves 
that by such means the manufactures of Bengal will soon be 
restored to their former degree of fineness and estimation ; 
so that our ships may not, as of late, be returned to us with 
depreciated fabrics, some of which have scarce [i. e. are 
scarcely worth] their original cost.' 

Bad work was a natural result of the gomastahs* practice 
of cutting down the payment of the weavers far below market 
rates, and counterbalanced any advantage in low prices which 
this monopolizing system had formerly produced to the Com- 
pany. It was a short-sighted policy, as the Directors now 

^ Vide Chap. II. * Bengal Dispatches, v, April lo. 177 1. 




saw, and their perception was perhaps quickened by the 
igomastahs' pernicious habit of accumulating bad debts. 
When the weaver failed to supply the due amount or quality 
of cloth dictated by his contract the gomastah entered the 
deficit against him in the Company's books as a debt to be 
worked off.^ But, this was apt t'^ result only in his increased 
inability to accomplish the full tale of the next engagement, 
and these arrears, instead of being worked off, increased 
against him season by season ; the prospect of their acquit- 
tance grew constantly more remote, and the Company's books 
were loaded with the vain and deceptive show of them. No 
such fictitious balances would appear on the books under an 
open trade such as the Court of Directors now ordered to be 
set up. They saw, before the issue of The Wealth of Nations^ 
that the principles of a free and open trade ought in the nature 
of things to encourage the producer, and, in the long run if not 
at once, to enlarge the various branches of industry by which 
their supplies were furnished. 

In zealous advocacy of free trading principles, the Directors! 
now enjoined upon their Bengal staff to reorganize their I 
export trade, employing the Dadni system, or open competi- 1 
tion of contractors, instead of Company's agents or gomastahs. I 
Hastings agreed heartily with the principle, but he did not 
think that the measure proposed would tend to promote 
it. ^In his experience he had found that the Dadni merchants 
tended to combine into as close a body as gomastahs them- 
selves, and to set up an even worse monopoly, for the gomas- 
tah was at least nominally under the control of the Company 
and could be dismissed for a flagrant offence, whereas the 
Dadni were their own masters and only liable to punish- 
ment by the native magistrates, who, before 1772, had 
been easily bribed into blindness and silence. Consequently 
the Company's orders to throw the trade open and grant 
exclusive privileges neither to their own servants nor to 
others would have a one-sided effect : while it discouraged 
the English, who were on the whole the more humane em- 
ployers, it would not prevent native merchants or other 
1 Gleig, vol. i, p. 308. 


Europeans forming powerful ' combines ' to control the pro- 
ducers in a given locality and imposing their own terms^ 
Such bodies existed as early as 1754.^ Hastings considered 
that the gomastah system was the lesser evil :) in Madras he 
had succeeded in purging it of its worst features. His objec- 
tion to the open trade schCne was not a protest against the 
principle, but against a half-measure which in effect would 
run counter to it, as proved to be the case.^ 

He consequently expressed great regret at the Directors' 
orders, and referred them to his Madra^^ Minutes, already on 
their way to England, to justify and explain his protest. He 
added : ' I hope the genius and constitution of the two govern- 
ments will be duly attended to in the judgement that shall be 
formed.' He admitted that he was not as yet competent to 
judge of the position in Bengal, and then expressed his doubts 
whether the new measure would have the effect of opening the 
trade. * It will have none but that of debasing the cloth$ 
and increasing their price, if the Merchants are to be allowec 
the same privileges and exclusive powers which were before 
allowed to the Gomastahs.' In what spirit these protestj 
were received at home does not appear, but it is certain that 
the orders were enforced and Hastings acquiesced and carried 
them out with apparent satisfaction. The explanation seems 
to lie in the different political footing on which the two 
Presidencies stood. The Madras Council had no authority 
commensurate w^>i that of the Bengal Diwani, and had 
consequently found it impossible to control the conduct of the 
Dadni merchants. In Bengal, on the other hand, Hastings 
could now reinforce the Company's commercial hold over 
them by the authority of the Government, and his new Plan 
of Justice was calculated to make the reformed law-courts 
a terror to the Dadni merchant as well as to other offenders. 

On the whole, however, the success of the new measure 
seems to have been doubtful. [Its first effect was to raise the 
cost of the investment, for it restored prices to a more normal 
level. In December 1773 the business of the investment 

^ Kasimhazar Factory Records, May 22, 1754; The Punch merchants. 
2 Bengal Letters, vol. x, March 27, 1772, and vide p. 236. 



was committed to the charge of an individual to be called 

r* The Comptroller of the Investment This served to disen- 
tangle the merely commercial affairs from those of the Govern- 
ment, and to relegate them henceforth to a second place. It 
depended for its success on stimulating this agent by entrust- 
ing him with authority and giving him a direct interest in the 
business.) It recalls a similar plan of Hastings's in Madras, 
where Charles Smith was given charge of the 'investment, and 
it was the first of several similar appointments in Bengal. 
For Hastings was a l^eliever in entrusting men with personal 
responsibility — in the policy of the strong man in the right 
place. * Choose your man carefully for his task,' he might 
have said, * seeing to it that he has the special knowledge 
required, and then give him a powerful incentive and a free 
h^ci ; ' such at any rate was his practice in the cases of the 
salt management, the bank, and in negotiations with his 
neighbours, and it is the policy he urges on his employers for 
the conduct of the central Government. It is to this that 
many of his astonishing military successes, as well as adminis- 
trative improvements, were due, and it was this faculty of 
selecting the right man and then trusting him that gave to 
India in her hour of crisis a Goddard and a Popham, and to 
Bengal a race of devoted, if less known. District officers and 

Having arranged for the efficient purveyance of the goods, 
the Governor turned his attention to the &iancial condition 
of the^ompany's investment. Under one 01 his predecessors 
a practice had sprung up of issuing interest notes on the 
Calcutta Treasury to pay for investment goods. This 
resulted in an increase from»£35i,8i7 to £1,547,458 by the 
year 1773, on which an annual interest of £95,636 had to be 
paid. The blanie for this state of things cannot be laid 
entirely at the doors of the previous Governors, Mr. Verelst 
and Mr. Cartier. The Directors had insisted on the provision 
of large investments, regardless of the exhausted state of the 
country between 1768 and 1772. Hastings stopped the issue 
of notes,^ and paid the investment contractors out of the 
^ Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 59, para. 9. 


funds in the Treasury, with the result that in June 1773 he 
found the chests empty and was forced to raise a loan ofr 
twenty-five lacs. This was, however, a temporary measure, 
for the revenue collections were then due. The loan was 
redeemable in December of the same year, and by November 
the Treasury was already in a position to^. clear it off.^ The 
rate of interest on the old Bond Debts was 8 % ; eighteen 
months of the new Administration had already so enhanced 
the Company's credit that the Governor was now able to 
borrow enough money at 5 % to extinguish the Bond Debts. 
This operation was finally completed by August 1774.^ 
The general commerce of Bengal had dwindled as the 
^ internal trade decayed, but not fr^rn that cause alone. Dow, 
a contemporary writer, states that the violence of Nadir Shah 
and' subsequent troubles in Persia had killed the purchas- 
ing power of that country. ^Turkey too was disturbed^ and 
Georgia, Armenia, Syria, and Egypt no longer called for the 
fine wares of Bengal. ^.The markets of Bussorah and Aleppo 
were closed, or furnished only the rough native textures 'f^the 
tj;;ade with Eastern Asia had also been long declining ;<i- the. 
various princes of Upper India and the maritime provinces, 
who threw off the Mogul yoke, closed their gates to foreign 
traders. The whole value of the external trade of Bengal with 
the countries of Asia is reckoned at no more than £100,000 
per annum in 1770.^ 

j The first step^towards a revival of this commerce would 
' be such a reformation of the internal condition of Bengal as 
' should stimulate the production and lower the prices of her 
I commodities, now raised under great difficulties and largely 
! absorbed by the demands of the Company. 

The new Land and Revenue Settlements which Hastings 
had in view would make for such a revival in so far as they 
gave the cultivator greater freedom, a broader margin of sub- 
sistence, and fuller security. These gains would be still further 

1 Bengal Dispatches, vol. vii, p. 391, March 3, 1775. 

2 Bengal Public Consultations, vol. liv, p. 242 ; Bengal Letters, vol. xiii, 
August 32, 1774. 

3 Dow's History of Hindostan : The State of Bengal, vol. i, pp. cxiv and 




secured by a new system of Justice. But the most direct way 
^o stimulate commerce within the country was to revise the 
ICustoms Regulations and to lift away the inextricable network 
of tolls and impositions which were steadily strangling it. The 
native Government had considered trade as much a source of 
plunder as the land. The Nizamvj^ levied dues on merchan- 
dise and on markets through the Zemindars and other farmers 
of the land-rents ; the local Zemindar or raja added his private 
claim, and every subordinate agent increased the burden on 
his own account.^ The English Company's advent only added 
to the complexity. '\hey made alterations and asserted 
privileges which increased the load on the merchant, and 
their interference with the officers of the Nizamut put an end 
to any hopes which he might entertain of appealing from the 
servant to the master. The resultant oppression dismayed 
those Englishmen who studied its effects, and in Novem- 
ber 1765 Francis Sykes, in conjunction with the ministers of 
the Durbar, attempted a reform, abolishing the lesser chokeys 
or custom-houses and bringing the authorized number down 
to twenty-four; but he lacked the power to maintain this 
improvement, and it is evident that the Zemindars everywhere 
renewed their exactions and continued to mulct the unhappy 
trader in innumerable ways.^ 

The Directors had repeatedly protested against this oppres- 
sive state of things, though they were far from realizing all the 
causes that contributed to bring it about.. Their dispatch 
of April 10, I22I, finally forbade the conTinuance of any 
privileges to their own servants, and especially that of the 
dustuk. From the Company's courts interest in the question 
spread to Parliament, and in ^772 a Committee of the House 
of Commons sat to investigate the subject.^ Meanwhile in 
Bengal Hastings's Council had proceeded to set up a Board of 
Revenue at the capital, which should have competence to deal 
with all branches of the Government finance. To makeji 
clean sweep of the extortionate impositions would have endan- 
ge£ed the revenue returns. It was necessary first to collect 

^ Vide pp. 242, 244. 

* /. O. Records, Range A. 6, p. 747, and Range A. 7, p. 264. 
3 House of Commons Reports, vol. vi. 


evidence from the districts as to the value of the various 
chokeys and the precise channels of native and Europear 
trade. It was consequently a year before final orders coulo 
be issued. During that year, March 1772 to March I773> the 
Committee of Circuit had been at work, the Land Settlement 
anil Plan of Justice had CJ^een promulgat,ed, and the ground 
thus cleared for the new regulations of the customs, which 
the Board of Revenue issued on March 23, 1773.^ Thg-.niost 
important provisions were : (fhe total abolition of the dustuk, 
the restraint of Europeans from setting in the districts, and 
the suppression of the Zemindari chokeys. The only custom- 
houses left were the five central ones, Calcutta, Hugh, Mur- 
shidabad, Patna, and Dacca, and two chokeys to control 
up-country exports to the north and west. A further notable 
enactment was the lowering of duties to the fixed rate of 
2i % on all goods, except the three monopolies of salt, betel- 
nut, and tobacco.^ This low duty was henceforth to be paid 
by all alike, the Company, its servants, Europeans of every 
race, and the native merchants ; those formerly entitled to 
the dustuk being granted certificates which enabled them 
to claim a drawback from the revenue. 

The Land Settlement, the Plan of Justice, and the Reform 
of the Customs, the three great constructive measures which 
effected a practical revolution in the condition of Bengal, were 
thus completed within a year of Hastings^s accession to the 
Presidency. B^-i; this revolution, real as it was, involved no 
breach with the traditions of the past. While it swept away 
the confusion and corruption of the years since 1756 it restored 
all that was best in the old order. Safeguards which had been 
required in the brightest days of the Moguls, provision for the 
security of the ryot, for the restraint of unjust judges and 
peculating officials, were enacted now u^der the stronger 
shield of the English power. Ashamed to skulk any longer 
behind the tinsel sham of a Nawab fainSant, the Company in 
these decrees frankly accepted all its responsibilities, and 
unconscious of its destiny laid the first stones of that edifice 
of law-abiding freedom upon which so great an Empire was to 

* Vide p. 240. 



grow. It is because of these three measures that the year 
■772 must always remain a turning-point in the history of 
?ndia, less dramatic certainly, but no less important, than that 
of Plassey. Clive was essentially a soldier and an autocrat ; his 
work made that of Hastings possible, but without the patient 
insight and tireless effort enshririfa in Hastings's measures 
there can be little doubt that our hold on^ Bengal would 
have been as brief in duration as it was rapid in attainment. 

With the reform of the old trade abuses the reasons for 
exclusion from neigh%)uring markets was rooted out. In 
future no State need fear that to carry on trade with Bengal 
merchants must be to quarrel with the English. That had 
been the view of the Vizier of Oudh. Shuja-ud-Daula was 
perhaps the most shrewd and capable of the native rulers at 
this date. While he was anxious to be on the side of the 
English, whose power he had felt in 1764, he had prohibited 
commerce with Bengal lest the oppressions practised there 
might be attempted within his own borders and give rise to 
strife in which he knew himself sure to succumb.^ C But such 
a policy on his part was equivalent to shutting the gates 
between Bengal and her natural markets, the entire ' hinter- 
land * of the Upper Ganges and Jumna Valleys, to which the 
direct route lay through Benares and Allahabad.; The Com- 
pany soon felt the effect of this blow, and in their dispatch of 
April 10, 1771, the Directors urged their servants to use every 
means to procure the reopening of the trad^ The abolition 
of the dustuk enabled Hastings to succeed, and he was careful 
in his treaties with the Vizier and his vassal Chet Sing of 
Benares to stipulate for equal duties.^ He was anxious to see 
this trade flourish and send out» runners far beyond the parent 
plant, as is evidenced by his exchange of courtesies with the 
Dalai Llama of Thibet and his inquiries into the possibilities 
of trade in Kuch Behari 

With private traders restricted to Calcutta and the dustuk 
abolished, there was little fear that native merchants would 
hesitate to resume their activities : it was only in the old 

^ Vide I. O. Records, Range Ixviii. 53, p. 30. 

* Bengal Letters, vol. x, p. 211, March 9, 1772, paras. 30 to 49 ; Gleig, 
vol. i, p. 354. 



monopolies of salt and opium that they could now complain 
of oppression, and with these Hastings proceeded to dea|^ 
CSalt was produced along the coasts of the Twenty-four Par- 
ganas, Burdwan, Midnapore, Dacca, and Chittagong, by an 
inexpensive process of evaporation of the sea-water in salt- 
pans, and was the heredit&y occupation o^ a low-caste people 
called Molungis. Great quantities were needed in Bengal with 
the rice and fish diet of the people, and it was also given to 
animals. The only substitute was earth-salt and a coarse rock- 
salt found in the Rohilla country. (Under native rule the 
trade had been free, and salt could be sold at Calcutta for Rs. 25 
per 100 maunds (i maund = 100 lb.), but in the hands of mono- 
polists the price was raised 200 %, and became the chief object 
of the Society of Trade, and after 1766 the only one.) In 1766 
the duties on salt amounted to £22,500, in 1767 to £92,250.^ 

(The Company was concerned in the salt trade both as a 
producer — for some of the most profitable salt-lands lay in the 
Twenty-four Parganas, their own zemindari — and as thereceiver 
of the revenues. In 1768 the Directors had put an end to the 
Society's monopoly of salt, regardless of Clive's protests, in 
the endeavour to restore the trade to natives. But the result 
was quite otherwise. The paramount influence of the super- 
visor in each district made it dangerous for natives or Euro- 
peans to compete with him if he chose to farm the salt-lands, 
and instead of an openly conducted monopoly, shared by the 
senior servants^i^'-.he trade became the close preserve of these 
men acting as private individuals unchecked and unregulated. 
This was of course a bold infraction of the Company's orders 
against inland trading. The usual result ensued in oppression 
and confusion.) Quarrels arose between the various English 
salt traders, such as Messrs. Reed and Killican, claiming old 
balances from the Molungi salt-makers ,and accusing one 
another of oppressing them. Hastings's view of this state of 
things led him to hold that if any monopolies were to exist 
they should be vested in the Company, as no private individual 
could have any right to them. He had once ardently advo- 

* House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 99. 




cated throwing the trade open, but had recognized the imprac- 
-■ticability of that counsel of perfection. In the summer of 1772 
Miis Council, acting as a. Committee of Revenue, made many 
inquiries on the subject and determined to reform the trade 
on 3ome uniform plan. They decided in October that^fio salt 
was to be made ex<^ept for the Conjpany, and that the farmers 
of the revenue were to be permitted to undertake the manage-, 
ment of the manufacture by making advances to the Molungis. 
Farmers were to take the salt-lands on five-year leases, con- 
tracting to produce a^iven amount each year. It was to be 
sold at a regulated price to merchants, who should contract 
annually for amounts not exceeding 50,000 maunds. They 
were to pay the customs dues of 10 % with the purchase-money^ 
to the farmers, who would remit it with their rents to the 
Treasury, and so each party would be a check on the other and 
obviate the need for special customs officersj Farmers were 
readily found to accept these conditions, and by December 3, 
1772, the lands of Burdwan, Dacca, Jessore, and the Twenty- 
four Farganas were let, the salt being contracted for at an 
average price of Rs. 70 per 100 maunds. But on advertising for 
merchants to purchase it the Government received very few 
answers, and in March 1773^ it was resolved to sell it by 
auction in small lots of 10,000 maunds, so as to invite the com- 
petition of smaller merchants. A profit of £120,000 was anti- 
cipated, which would give a surplus sufficient to pay off old 
debts incurred on this account. This system was challenged 
by Philip Francis in 1775, but Hastings deRnded it in these 
terms : * No new Hardship has been imposed on the Salt 
Manufacturers by taking the Management of that Article into 
the Hands of Government. ,The only Difference is that the 
Profit which was before reaped by English Gentlemen and by 
Banyans is now acquired for the Company . . . they receive 
from the Salt Business a net Revenue of £120,000, which I 
beUeve is four Times as much as they have ever before received 
except in the Time oi the Society of Trade. ... [It gives] this 
further advantage, that by destroying all Private claims to the 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, pp. 373, 450. para. 20 


Labor of the Molungees it leaves the Government at full Liberty 
on the Expiration of the present Leases, to make whatevej 
Regulations they may judge most adviseable.' ^ These arrange^ 
ments received the approval of the Court of Directors in their 
dispatches of March 3, 1775, and December 24, 1776. The 
first sale was held on Ma]^i, 1773,^ under the charge of the 
superintendent of the Khalsa and two members of the Council. 
After the accescion of the new Government of October 1774, 
set up by Lord North's Regulating Act, the management was 
committed to the Board of Trade, a branch of the Calcutta 
Council, and a duty of 30 sicca rupees per 100 maunds imposed 
on all imported salt by the advice of Francis, contrary to 
Hastings*s opinion,^ and in the next year all imports of salt were 
forbidden, but after a titne this measure had to be suspended. 
No really satisfactory policy had been found. The profit 
from the trade in the years 1772 to 1774 was Rs. 325, 47, 061. 
Constant discussion followed in the years 1775 to 1777. In 
a Minute of September 24, 1776, Hastings advocated entrust- 
ing the manufacture to the Zemindars of the salt-lands, but in 
1777 a fresh scheme of his was adopted, which returned to the 
former method of letting the salt mhals for a ready-money 
rent, inclusive of the duties. The trade still diminished, and in 
1780 it was put into the hands of a Comptroller with an agent 
in each district, and a total prohibition was once more laid on 
all imports of salt. These measures were no more satisfactory 
than the former : probably that of 1772, lowering the duty 
to Rs. 10 and tl?^ price to Rs. 75 per 100 maunds, was the 
least oppressive, but in no case does the profit to the Com- 
pany appear to have countervailed the deprivation to the 

In the years 1770 to 1773 the profits from duties alone 
amounted to : 


^770 70,914 

1771 61,663 

1772 45,027 

* Bengal Secret Consultations, Range A. 27, p. 1246. 

* Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 43. 

3 Home Miscellaneous, 92, Salt, p. 28. 




Those from duties and sales together from 1773 to 1775 were : 

' 1773 229,192 

1774 130,263 

And in 1775 there was a deficit of . . . i,473 
The Company made a profit agai^^in the next year : 


177^ 139,021 

1777 54,160 

After the appointment of a Comptroller the profits rose : 

17S1 321,912 

17S2 655,646 

1783 603,076 

but this was due to further oppression, as the alternative 
source of supply by import was now stopped. 

Hastings seems in fact to have underestimated the hardship 
involved in this monopoly, for in 1783 he pointed to the profit 
as ' unencumbered with official charges, unexposed to inva- 
sion, a rich dominion without garrison or a military establish- 
ment, and all of my own creation 

The second monopoly was the trade in opium. This com- 
modity was grown in perfection in Bahar and especially in the 
neighbourhood of Patna ; an inferior kind could be raised in 
Bengal. The monopoly dated from 1761, and in 1765 had lain 
in the hands of the Patna servants, who k%)t the profits for 
themselves. Heated discussions arose on this subject. The 
trade was leased to two natives in 1773, but in 1774 Hastings 
converted it to the Company^'s use on the same principles as 
the salt monopoly, and in 1775 it was put up to auction and 
from that time managed by an English servant. An account 
of this trade given in the Company's records ^ towards the 
close of the century states that * opium was sold in the Country 
and the produce laid out in Country Merchandize for the Com- 
pany's export This would apply to the period after 1774, 
and shows that this trade at least did not drain the country of 
* Home Miscellaneous, 92, p. 61, 


its specie as did the investment. The annual profits of the 
trade during Hastings's administration were as follows ^ : g 

£ £ 

^773 . . 39,837 1779 . . 57,527 

1774 . . 14,256 1780 . . 8,475 

1775 . . 56,255^ 1781 . i. . 68,912 

1776 . . 21,908 1782 . . 43,470 

1777 . 22,149 1783 . . 78,300 

1778 . . 49,572 1784 . . 53,348 

(These profits were applied to the special object of providing 
salaries for the Chiefs of Divisions, officers newly created by 
Hastings in 1774.^ The same reasons which justified the 
conversion of the salt trade into a monopoly of the Company 
in Hastings's view applied with extra force to the opium trade, 
for it was of a peculiar character. The supply was liable to 
striking fluctuations according as the season was favourable 
or not to the crop. The demand, on the other hand, being 
almost as constant as that for a necessary of life, made the 
trade peculiarly liable to the abuse of forestalling and other 
speculative proceedings, and it was the more desirable that 
the Government should have control of the sales.) 

The sale of saltpetre was another monopoly, which had 
been first granted to the Company by Mir Jafar in 1758. 
Most of the saltpetre too came from Patna, a district which 
had formerly been more densely populated, but about a quar- 
ter of the whole vvas derived from Purnea and Oudh; in all 
about 1,500 tons reached Calcutta yearly. The trade was 
almost entirely an export one, and the profits were reckoned 
at sums varying from £17,000 ^,o £27,000 per annum. These 
were, however, in the opinion of the Company's auditor in 1786 
more imaginary than real, as the charges involved in procuring 
and exporting were inadequately computed.^ The trade in 
betel-nut and tobacco seems to have been treated apart, and 
these two commodities paid a 30 % duty, but there does not 

^ Home Miscellaneous, 92. 

* Vide Chap. VIII, revenue reforms. 

* Home Miscellaneous, 92, Saltpetre and opium, p. 61, &c. 




appear to be any clear record of the measures taken in regard 
jjto them. 

Trade set free might be expected to grow immensely in bulk 
and in value, but there still lacked the essential to this end, 
a sound currency. 

The depletion of, the currency v Jls perhaps the most threat- 
emn^ feature of the whole outlook. It had been causing grave 
anxiety to Presidents since Clive's day. While in Madras, 
Hastings had heard surprising reports of the scarcity of coin 
in the younger Presicjpncy. He agreed with his predecessors 
in ascribing it to t^iree chief causes. The first was the Mogul's 
tribute. Whereas the payments made to the Nawab returned 
in expenditure to the circulation of the provinces, those to 
Shah Alam passed out of the country altogether. Hastings 
was acting in the supreme economic interest of Bengal when 
he withheld the king's tribute. 

No less harmful was the tribute paid to the Company in 
the form of the revenues. Had these enormous sums been 
entirely exported they would have constituted a far worse 
drain than the other, but(m fact a large proportion and some- 
times the whole returned to the circulation in the form of 
advances for the investment or interest on loans made for 
the same purpose, the payment of troops or officials of the 
Company, and after 1772, of the Diwani.) It is hard to say 
how much specie was actually lost to the currency through 
this channel, but it undoubtedly accelerated:|^e depletion, and 
so did the sums annually carried off by individuals who made 
fortunes in India in order to spend them at home. 

The third channel, and the hardest of all to stop, was the 
native tendency to hoard or bury treasure in times of distur- 
bance, while further sums were lost to the trade of the country 
through being coijverted into jewels and ornaments, (jhe coin- 
age too was on an unsatisfactory footing. The rupee was the 
common coin, for though the Moguls had minted a gold coin, 
the mohur, worth sixteen rupees, it had never displaced silver 
as the accepted currency of India. But there were rupees of 
various values. Many mints had been set up by the permis- 
sion of the emperors or through the independent action of their 


vassals on the collapse of the Empire, and the only coin of the 
original value of the Delhi rupee was the Murshidabad sicca 
rupee. Many districts in Bengal employed a rupee minted 
locally, and serious loss was incurred when the revenues or 
large sales were paid in these coins. It was the custom tc 
make a fresh issue even of l^.ie sicca rupee i/i each year, and as 
the coins were without alloy their value was soon perished and 
the better coins passed out of the country.^ 

To remedy these evils and provide trade with a really satis- 
factory medium Hastings adopted the ^'cca rupee of 1773 (the 
nineteenth year of Shah Alam) as the standard coin, put 
an end to annual recoinage, closed the Patna mint, and made 
Calcutta the only place of issue, publishing the rates at 
which the Treasury would receive the depreciated rupees of 
other districts. This measure succeeded so well that the 
sicca rupee of 1773 continued to be the standard coin till 
our own time. 

Another measure to assist the currency, which had been 
advocated among experienced servants of the Company, was 
the establishment of a bank.^ (Money-lending had been 
hitherto in the hands of individual shroffs, amongst whom the 
house of Jagat Seth was the most famous. Transactions 
involved the actual carriage of bullion from place to place at 
immense expense and risk of loss both from those employed to 
convey it and from the many robbers who infested the pro- 
vinces. There "^x S also constant loss to the merchant from 
exchanges of the local rupees. The new proposal was to 
entrust certain responsible shroffs with the management of 
a bank at Calcutta, into which the revenues should be paid 
through branch houses set up *at each Collectorship. These 
branches would receive the revenue payments from the 
Collectors in the current coin of the particular district, which 
coins they would find no difficulty in returning into the local 
circulation, while their bills only were to be accepted by 
revenue officials at the districts and head-quarters of the 
Khalsa. The banks would thus obviate the necessity for 

1 British Museum Add. MS. 29207 ; Bengal Pfvenue Consultations, 5, 
Range 49, vol. 42 ; Bengal LetUrs, vol. xi, p. 437, para. 17. 



treasury staffs at the Collectorships, and would in Calcutta act 
.as the agent of the Khalsa much as the Bank of England acts 
for the Treasury, and share its profits with the Company. The 
first managers appointed were Raja Huzoorimul and Raja 
Dolchund, men of credit among the Zemindars, who would thus 
be encouraged to employ the barj in their own affairs. The 
natives were too much accustomed to fraud and oppression 
to believe readily that any public body could be safely en- 
trusted with their treasure. Although, to judge from an in- 
quiry held into the ef^cts of its working,^ the bank appears to 
have achieved its objects, it was abolished in February 1775. 

It granted bills first at the Company's rate of exchange and 
later at par instead of at the exorbitant rates formerly exacted, 
and the only sufferers from its institution seem to have been 
the private money-lenders. In addition to the simplification 
of the revenue business, it proved of value to private mer- 
chants, whose remittances could be made quickly and without 
risk ; it confined the use of local coins to their own districts 
and obviated the loss involved in frequent exchanges, besides 
offering the natives an introduction to the advantages of 
a more extended credit system!) 

The forwarding of traffic was further aided at this period by 
the work of surveyors and roadmakers. Captain J. Rennell 
had been appointed Surveyor to the Company on Novem- 
ber 26, 1764,2 and had in that year made a survey of the Ganges 
valley. He later completed maps of the pr^inces and charts 
of the coast, which remain the cartographical authorities for 
Bengal. In 1774 Hastings organized a regular service of posts 
along the main routes from Calcutta northward to Patna and 
eastward to Dacca. At the «ame time the measures taken 
by the Governor to clear the provinces of the great bands of 
Suonyasis, religious fanatics who annually made armed incur- 
sions from the hills, and to settle the Company's relations with 
their warlike neighbours in Kuch Behar, greatly contributed 
to the security of Bengal trade. 

* British Museum Add. MS. 29207 ; and Letter to Macleane, February 
22, 1775, British Museum Add. MS. 29127. 

• Bengal Abstracts, vol. i, p. 142. 


Trade Reform and Finance. ^ 
No. I. Company's Investment. 

Bengal Public Consultations, 52. ^(Report of the Kasimbazar Inquiry into 
the cause of^se in prices of silf^) 

May 25, 1772. 

^ Para. i. [In 'the famine of 1770] so considerable was the 
mortality among the people who used to employ themselves 
in the cultivation of the mulberry plant that scarcely one-half 
survived . . . hardly more than a foui*.h of the land is now 
cultivated, the rest lays waste, and the Zemindar in order to 
perform his engagements with Government is necessitated to 
levy from this small portion of land the full amount of the 
Revenue which he had collected on the whole when in the 
most flourishing condition, and the poor labourer, deprived of 
every other means of satisfying the heavy demands of his 
Zemindar, is of course obliged to raise the price of his cocoons. 

Para. 2. The rearing of the silkworm is a business held in 
abomination by the people in general of the Gentoo caste, and 
confined to only one class of them. 

Para. 3. One considerable obstacle to the success of the Silk 
Investment has proceeded from the footing on which it has 
hitherto been conducted, interfering so much with the Revenue 
branch . . . the person employed in the provision of the Invest- 
ment, w^hose credit depended on the success of that alone, 
naturally bestowed his whole attention thereto, indifferent 
how far his measures clashed with the object of the pursuit or 
with the interest of the Collector or the Country in general ; 
while on the otlf'r hand the Collector may be suspected of 
having paid little attention to the representations of the 
commercial agent. The absolute necessity of connecting 
the commercial with the Revenue department [emerges as the 
most pressing feature of any re-form to be undertaken]. 

No. 2. 

Bengal Letters, vol, x, p. 287. 

March 27, 1772. 

Para. 2. We come now to speak on the subject of your 
orders of the loth of April last reed, per the Lord Holland, for 
reverting to the former mode of providing an Investment by 
Dadney Merchants. In our letter of the loth of January last 




by the Speake and Asia we mentioned our having in conse- 
>quence of those orders advertised for receiving Proposals both 
here and at the Subordinates. 

Para. 3. At the first view we may pronounce of those Pro- 
posals without distinction that instead of being adapted to the 
salutary purposes intended of giving freedom and increase to 
Trade they have ^ direct contra;^ tendency. (The offers are 
not from a number of individual merchants that might render 
such a provision diffusive at a moderate advance for their 
trouble and risk, but from a body of men whose requisitions 
imply a monopoly, and that too upon very extravagant terms 
which appear to be jpierely calculated to benefit themselves 
not only to the manifest injury of the trade here, but to a cer- 
tain and heavy loss upon your sales at home, j 

CThese are the obvious and principal Objections to which the 
Proposals of the Merchants are exposed upon a General View 
of the matter ; if we descend to Particulars many may be 
enumerated, such as the immediate Loss of the greater part if 
not the whole of the Ballances due from the Weavers ; the 
certain loss of 25% on the Amount of the Investment suppos- 
ing that the weavers (which the Merchants represent to be 
necessary) are allowed an advance on the present price of their 
cloths of 5 % ; the debasement of the Manufacture, a probable 
if not certain consequence of providing by contract if we are 
to judge from past experience, instead of leaving the door open 
to such improvements as may be recommended ; a deficiency 
of the quantity contracted for, as they were never known to 
furnish the quantity stipulated, in the provision of so exten- 
sive an Investment, j 

Para. 4. Your orders for resuming the mode of Dadney 
being positive. We should be the more Cc.^ious of the least 
deviation from them ; but when we consider that by an adher- 
ence to the letter of those orders under the circumstances 
already described, the spirit of them would be totally lost. 
We are convinced that we shall stand justified in your eyes for 
considering ourselves to be u^der the necessity of suspending 
the execution of them until it can be done in a manner more 
consistent with^your immediate Interests and the General 
Good of the Country. . . . 

Para. 5. Had we the least prospect of removing any evils 
that may be existing it would require much time and considera- 
tion to effect such a total change in a mode established by the 
practice of near 20 years in a branch so very extensive. . . } 

^ For further accounts of the investment see Bengal Dispatches, v. 35 
and 378, vi. 380 and 438. 


No. 3. Comptroller appointed. 
Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 175 ; General Letter, Secret Department, i 

December 30, 1773. 

Para. 8. The business of your Investment, which we have 
always regarded as most interesting in its consequences, being 
nevertheless in its detail litne subject to thcimmediate inspec- 
tion of the Board, and the multiplicity and variety of the other 
objects which necessarily engross our attention rendering it 
still more difficult to attend properly to that branch, especially 
since the absence of several of our members at the Chiefships, 
we thought it expedient to consign to fhe care of one of our 
number particularly, and as Mr. Aldersey had as head of the 
Committee of Commerce bestowed particular attention on that 
business, we entrusted him with the new charge, under the 
name of Comptroller of the Investment. All the detail, cur- 
rent business and Aurung correspondence are managed by 
him and he reports to us and takes our orders occasionally. 
We hope that this arrangement will prove of great service to 
the Company and meet your approbation. 

No. 4. High prices result from open trade, 
Bengal Letters, vol. xiii. 

October 17, 1774. 

Having in compliance with your instructions used every 
endeavour to make the provision of your Investment by con- 
tract and advertised in due time for receiving proposals for the 
Investment of the present year several were delivered in before 
the departure of the Resolution, but those for Patna were on 
terms of advanta|*i which we were induced to accept.^ . . . 

We flatter ourselves you will find this valuable article^ of 
your Investment much improved and that it will soon be 
recovered from the declining state to which it has been reduced 
since the famine, we mean with^ respect to the quality of the 
goods. The price still continues very high, nor can we devise 
any means of reducing it consistently with the encouragement 
that has been given for a free and open trade, the necessary 
consequence of which is an enhancement on the price of the 
goods in those places where any restrictions might have before 
prevailed. In such a predicament, particularly in Raw Silk 
Radanagore in Burdwan Province which so many years has 
been taken at an arbitrary price, that is, at such rates as were 

* Vide Letter of February 7, 1774. * i. e. silk. 


judged sufficient for the maintenance of the ryots or original 
j)roviders. It then came to less than 6 rupees per seer, and 
R-ccounts for the great and impartial profit gained on that 
assortment at the sales in Europe, but since those restrictions 
have been removed in consequence of the system universally 
adopted for a general freedom of trade, the price of this article 
has risen from 6 r.jto 9 r., at whicj rate a contract has been 
entered into for the provision of Radanagore Silk this season 
and it is still under the market price of that assortment at 

[The following d(jcuments relate to General Trade.] 
No. 5. Abolition of Dustuks. 
Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 380, Revenue Department. 
February 27, 1773. 

Para. 16. ... We are now employed in arranging and digest- 
ing the several Accounts before Us relating to the Customs and 
that this Subject may be completed without Loss of Time, and 
in the meanwhile in conformity to your Orders We have pub- 
lished an Advertizement for the total Abolition of Dustucks, 
to take place on the 12th of April next, being the first day of 
the Bengal Year. 

Para. i7/(In lieu of this Priviledge Certificates will be 
granted to such of your Servants as have been hitherto 
entitled to it, upon their paying the Established Duties — in 
like manner with other Merchants — of 2\ %, and upon their 
solemn Declaration that the Goods were their own Property, 
of which a Register will be kept and transmitted with such 
other Materials as may best enable you to determine on the 
Mode of Compensation which you have been^leased to declare 
your Intention of substituting for the Loss sustained by this 
Resumption.) We hope you will not think us deficient in that 
respectful Reliance which We ought to repose in your Justice, 
if We add that with the Dust^uck your Servants will lose the 
only real Advantage by which the Situation of many, We may 
say by far the greater part of them, was made preferable to 
that of Free Merchants, or other Sojourners,* and as the pro- 
spect of this Superiority was their original Inducement to 
solicit your Service, their Disappointment will prove not only 
a very severe Mortification, but will reduce them even far 
below the Level of other Competitors in Trade, whether 
Natives, Foreigners or British Subjects, in proportion to their 
Diligence and Attention to the Duties of their Employs in your 


No. 6. Minuie regarding the future arrangement of the Customs. 

Bengal Revenue Consultations, i, Range 49, vol. 38, p. 1033. * 

March 23, 1773. 

Our Hon. Masters in their Letter dated the loth of April, 
1771, have abolished the Hl'iviledge of Du«i,tucks under a Per- 
suasion that the Use thereof by their own Servants has tended 
to destroy that Freedom of Trade which they desire to estab- 
lish for all the Natives of, and Residents in Bengal without 

Being persuaded also that much Dist^ouragement arises to 
the fair trader from his being too frequently, and the Object 
considered, in general unscrupulously subjected to the exercise 
of Authority by the number of Chokeys established in all Parts 
of the Country, they likewise direct the Abolition of them. 

The above Orders having been carried into execution, the 
Board now proceed to form a new system of management for 
this Branch of the publick Revenue, and the subject being both 
delicate and important, it is thought necessary to state the 
reasons and to explain the considerations which have regu- 
lated the Judgement of the Board. 

As they conceive the present system is exceptionable in all 
its parts, each of which more or less participates of those ill 
customs which have contributed to render it so great an Evil 
to Trade, they think it necessary utterly to abolish every Tax 
or Duty which by the Custom hitherto observed has been 
collected on any Necessary of Life, or any Article of Foreign 
or Inland Trade. 

The Board reflect with particular Satisfaction on the Motives 
and Consideratic^J> which induced the Hon. Court of Directors 
to direct the Abolition of the inferior chokeys for collecting the 
Customs ; because from them they infer a strong desire to 
revive the Commerce of this Country and a Willingness to 
submit to a present Reduction in the Revenue arising from 
their Customs which from th'^ Relief thereby afforded to 
a declining Trade, they no doubt foresaw, as we ourselves rest 
assured, that it will revert with most ample Compensation in 
the numberless good effects which will result from a restored 
and flourishing Commerce. They therefore with the less 
Reluctance relinquish Advantages which proceed from im- 
proper Sources, and more attentive to the State and Interests 
of Trade than fixed in the desire of compensating for the Loss 
sustained by this Reduction they suffer themselves to be 
guided by what the present Situation of Foreign Commerce 




suggests rather than by an immediate and exclusive regard to 

rhe publick Revenue in this branch. 
From a desire to reduce the price of Rice and to facilitate 
the Circulation of it through all Parts of the Provinces, they 
have already abolished all the Duties hitherto collected at the 
Hauts, Gunges, and Sahirs in the Mofussil. But as the Duties 
and Rents of those wholesale Markets are so much blended 
with the publick Revenue that an unconditional and unde- 
fined Abolition of the former might largely' and materially 
affect the Collections by opening a Door for unreasonable and 
groundless Deduction, the ascertaining the Amount and trac- 
ing the Sources of tHe Receipts at the Gunges in order to 
establish a precise Abolition to answer the End proposed with- 
out incurring a Loss to the Company must be left to the future 
researches of the controuling Board of Customs which will be 
proposed in the Sequel and the relief which is wished to be 
contributed confined at present to that which is specified in 
the first Article of the Regulations at the close of this Minute. 

The Board are also confirmed in their opinion of the Pro- 
priety of this intended Remission when it can be accurately 
ascertained, because if it should at any Time be held conveni- ^ 
ent to put an Impost on Grain, they think it would be attended 
with less Inconvenience as well as be more consistent with the 
natural right which every District may claim of enjoying the 
consumption of its own Produce free from Duty, that the 
Duties on this Article should be collected only at the Capital 
Towns whither it is brought for Consumption. 

Indeed if Objection be made to this natural right, it may be 
replied that the Cultivators are taxed in the Rate of their Rent, V 
and that as the Manufacturers in this Country are never in 
a Condition superior to the means of presen iSubsistence, the 
cheaper they live the cheaper their Commodities will sell, and 
that as the necessaries of Life diminish in their price, so will 
the Means necessary for subsisting the Manufacturer and his 
Family, there the imposing of. Duties upon Grain before he 
consumes it, will operate with all the Prejudice which arises 
from taxing the Raw Materials of Manufactures. The Manu- 
facturer though s© poor in Credit is compelled to borrow, to 
pay the Duty as well as to purchase his Rice. Remit this 
Duty till his products are brought to the Place of Consumption 
or Export and then charge it upon them, and a certain Effect 
of it will be the Commodity will be cheaper in proportion to 
the Interest which the Manufacturer must pay on what he 
borrows to discharge the Duty on his Rice and that which the 
petty intermediate Traders pay upon the money they take up 

1526.9 o 


for purchasing the Commodity. In short the Amount of Duty 
will accumulate Interest in every Hand through which th^ 
Goods pass, and increase the Price of them to a Degree hardl^ 
to be conceived from the comparative Amount of the Duty 
actually imposed. It may be further observed that i % paid 
at the different Stations in. the Route from the Mofussil will 
be more grievous to the Merchant from the Delays and Inter- 
ruptions to which he is thereby subjected than 2% paid at the 
Place of Consumption or Exportation. 

For these reasons the Board intend to for ever abolish all 
Duties on Grain in the Mofussil as soon as the real amount can 
be ascertained, and the Effects of the^present Suspension of 
such as have hitherto been levied on the Importation of this 
Article into the Capital Towns will hereafter influence the 
Board to renew the Duties or to continue the Suspension of 

In regard to the Export Trade of these Provinces the Board 
are of opinion that its Commodities have risen in their prices 
to a Degree that greatly exceeds the Medium of Trade in 
Foreign Markets, the European Trade excepted ; and to 
restore our Commerce with them it is absolutely necessary to 
aim at reducing the price of our Export Goods. In pursuing 
this Object the Duties upon Grain are proposed to be abolished, 
and every Impediment removed, which tended to obstruct 
a free Circulation of it. The same Motive now induces them 
to fix the Duties of the Country Government at 2^ % upon all 
Goods exported or imported and upon all Trade in general in 
these Provinces excepting Grain and such other Articles of 
Internal Commerce as shall be hereafter specified. The Rate 
of Duty paid by the Foreign Companies is 2j-% and levied only 
upon such Acc(/l'nts of their Trafiick as they are pleased to 
submit to the Officers of the Customs. The benefit of this 
moderate Duty and the extraordinary Priviledge of being 
without Check in regard to the Quantity and Valuation of 
their Goods, which by the extravagant Use that is made of it 
reduces the Duty to the merest Trifle, is also claimed by Indivi- 
duals residing under the Flags of the different Foreign Nations. 
[A full discussion of this situation follows and is thus con- 
cluded.] This therefore is of itself a powerful Argument for 
fixing the Rate universally at 2^%, since it is not in our Power 
to change the Priviledge hitherto enjoyed by the Foreign Com- 
panies and dangerous to touch them. 

But independent of the reasons which arise from this our 
embarrassed Position towards the Foreign Companies the 
Board are of opinion that a Commercial State like this ought 




to regulate its Imports on Trade by the Estimation and 
pemand which their Commodities bear at Foreign Markets. 
The decaying State of the Trade of this Country then cer- 
tainly demands the Encouragement of moderate Duties as 
well as the aid of every other Incitement to restore it to that 
State of Superiority which it formerly did and ought ever to 
maintain over thojife Countries witn which it has Commercial 
Intercourse. ^ 

Having thus proposed an Effectual Relief from all possible 
Molestation to the Trader in Grain, by destroying all Right or 
Pretence to interrupt its Passage, in the intended Abolition of 
every Mode of Taxation on it ; and having fixed the Govern- 
ment's Duty at one and the same Rate upon every other 
Article of Merchandize ; it remains to establish the necessary 
Checks for commanding an effectual Controul over the general 
Intercourse of Trade throughout the Provinces. 

The Situation of this Country in regard to the Transporta- 
tion of its Commodities is such and the Channel of Exportation 
so confined that the Board conceive it will be entirely unneces- 
sary to appoint many Stations for the purpose of controuling 
the Passage of Goods. They calculate that three-fourths of 
the Trade of the Country consists in the Exports from and 
the Imports to the Southward — meaning to and from Calcutta 
and the foreign Settlements ; the other fourth, if the Propor- 
tion be so large, is to the North and North Westward, The 
particular Commodities passing in this Track being numerous 
and trifling it may be difficult to contrive any certain Controul 
for them; however, a very few Stations judiciously disposed 
and a vigilant Conduct in the Collector it is to be hoped w^ould 
in a great measure overcome these difficult ^s. We know of 
no Degree of Trade to the Eastward or Wes Jl^ard that can be 
an Object to the Customs, Indeed what is carried on in those 
Parts seems chiefly to consist of European and other Country 
Import Commodities which go from hence and in returns 
which are either consumed in the Capital Towns or brought for 
Exportation to the Southward. 

It also seems to be agreeable to natural right and never can 
be against the Interest of a State, when the Channel of Expor- 
tation is confined within an easy controul, that every Province 
should enjoy the Consumption of its own Commodities free of 
Duty ; and in such a Situation it can only be necessary to 
trace the Progress of the Superfluity and to leave it free and 
unmolested to the very Consumption and Exportation of it, 
as far as can be done consistent with the Security of the 
Publick Duties. 

R 2 


The Poverty of the Inhabitants in the internal Parts of 
these Provinces will not permit the Enjoyment of Luxuriesjf 
which in every State, but more particularly in a Trading one,^ 
form the only true and proper Object for Taxation. A 
mutual Intercourse of Traffick between all the Districts, un- 
discouraged and uninterrii^ted by the Insolence of Officers 
appointed to collect the Gtistoms, cannot *^theref ore be detri- 
mental to the ^State, nor indeed a Disappointment to our 

These General Ideas are the Grounds on which the Board 
proceed to pass the following resolutions for the future Estab- 
lishment and Regulation of the Duties (k the Country Govern- 
ment : 

1. That all Duties, Tolls, Fees, or Ground Rents collected at 
the Gunges shall be collected as usual untill the Board shall 
establish such new Regulations as they may think necessary, 
but that all Road Duties, whether by Land or Water, exacted 
antecedent to the Importation of the Grain shall be entirely 

And to render this prohibition more effectual, that all the 
inferior chokeys belonging to the Gunges known by the 
denomination of Faundees, and at which the road duties have 
hitherto been collected, shall be abolished and the practice, 
which has too frequently prevailed, of obliging merchants to 
bring their goods to particular Gunges or markets, is hereby 
strictly forbid under the severest penalties, so that every mer- 
chant shall be at liberty to carry his merchandize wherever he 
thinks proper for sale. 

2. That every other article of Foreign or Inland Trade, 
excepting Salt, EQetle-nut, and Tobacco, shall pay a Duty to 
Government of %, distinct from the Company's Duty paid 
in Calcutta, and without exception to any sect or nation 

3. That the duty on Salt and Beetle-nut shall continue on 
the present established footing and the duty on Tobacco as it 
shall hereafter be regulated by the Board on the report of 
the Board of Customs. 

4. That an appraisement of every sort' of merchandize, 
formed from the current prices at the different Custom Houses 
for the purpose of regulating the charge of the Duties, shall 
be inspected and passed by this Board every 12 months and 
affixed at every Custom House for public Inspection. 

5. That a Board of Customs be established, consisting of a 
Member of Council and 4 Senior Servants at the Presidency, to 
inspect, regulate and control the whole business of the Customs. 



6. That 5 Custom Houses be established and stationed at : 

k Calcutta Dacca 
Hugli and Patna 

under the control of the above Board. 

7. That exclusive of these Cvt'fom Houses there shall be 
2 Chokeys erected to collect the duty on goods exported to 
the westward through the passes of the hills Ipounding Midna- 
pore, Bissenpore, Patcheat, and Bhirbhum, and another for 
collecting the duties on goods exported to the Northward by 
the Sonassy Merchants who trade from Malda to the upper 
parts of Hindostan/ The stations at which these Chokies 
shall be fixed and the controul they are to be under to be 
regulated by the Board of Customs. 

8. [The personnel of the Custom House appointed.] 

9. [Rowannahs to bear the Company's seal.] 

10. [Custom Houses to be opeil daily except Sundays.] 

11. That a rowannah passed at any one of the Custom 
Houses shall be current throughout the provinces . . . and ** 
being endorsed by the Collector, the goods shall pass without 
interruption or further examination than that of satisfying 
the Collector the number of boats in the fleet corresponds 
with the number specified in the rowannah. 

12. All Europeans who go up with Fleets of boats are pre- 
viously to obtain a license from the Board of Customs at 
Calcutta specifying the length of time they are to be absent 
and that they have entered into joint security bonds with 
the persons whose merchandize they conduct to return within 
that space and on no pretence whatever to attempt to fix 
a residence in the Out-districts. 

13. That to prevent the molestation to which the Natives 
might possibly be subjected by inserting the name of the mer-^ 
chant in the rowannah, which by distinguishing the proprietor 
of the merchandize will point out to the officer of the Customs 
the degree of influence whicl/ will oppose his exactions or be 
exerted for the punishment of them when committed, it is 
directed that the name of the merchant shall not be specified 
in the rowannah'. . . . 

For the further prevention of the like distinction, it be also 
made a standing order that all boats belonging to persons 
trading under the English protection, whether Europeans or 
Natives, be allowed and directed to carry Jhe English flag. 

* Sunnyasis are spoken of as carrying on trade in Dacca in 1773 ; vide 
J, O, Records, Range A. 25, p. 150. 


14. [A register to be kept at each Custom House in English, 
Bengali and Persian.] 

15. ... All attempts to smuggle goods and defraud th^ 
Customs will subject them to confiscation. . . , 

16. That the Government Custom House and the Company's 
Custom House be considered as distinct departments and the 
produce of their respectiv^y duties brought to account separ- 
ately, but the management of both shalf be put under the 
immediate change of the Board of Customs at the Presidency. 

17. That the goods purchased at the Company's Outcry 
shall not be exempted from the Government duty . . . that the 
Company's Europe Investment shall al^o be liable to the same 
duties as other merchandize. 

No. 7. The Monopolies. Salt. 

Private traders under the open trade system ; Messrs. Reed and 
Killican's disputes. 

Bengal Public Consultations, vol. li, p. 351. 

February 17, 1772. *■ 
[Mr. Reed submits a letter from his Gomastah at Culpee 

reporting the following complaint from a Molungi salt-maker.] 
The complaint of Bejayram Holdar of Mooragautcha against 

Gunganaram Bose, Mr. Killicari's Gomastah in the 24 Per- 


The 19th Augun or November Gunganaram Bose sent 
Sunker, Gora, Panuchue, and Mukteram, Pykes (i.e. soldiers) 
to my house about 4 gurrys after dark ; they laid hold of me 
and told me to come to Gunganaram Bose in order to receive 
advances on 2iCQ£pnt of Mr. Killican ; to which I answered 
them that I hacrulready received advances from Mr. Reed's 
Gomastah and that I could not receive from any other. Upon 
which the said Pykes took from me two rupees, tied and beat 
me with shoes and fist, by which I fell on the ground. A great 
number of country people beiftg gathered together, some of 
them said that I was dead, upon which one of the said Pykes 
told them it was a trick and took some straw from a thatched 
house and burnt my arm. 

The said Pykes watched me the whole night and the next 
morning one of them went to Gunganaram Bose, i coss distant 
from my house, to acquaint him of what had been done, who 
then sent 10 Pykes more in order to bring me with my wife 
and children before him, which they did accordingly upon a 



Afterwards Gunganaram Bose ordered the Pykes to take 
bail for my appearance and ordered me back to my house, 
^here he placed 15 Pykes to prevent my going to Calcutta to 
complain. Two days after that I hired a dooly and in the 
night-time escaped. 

Taken from Bejayram Holdar's own mouth, whose arm 
appears to have been very much >r|irnt. 

[Mr. Reed makei the following statement in his own justifi- 

The Sickdar of the Pergunnah in which the dispute arose 
between Mr. Killican's people and mine, is Saun Bose, who 
I am informed is that Gentleman's agent, and that the busi- 
ness is carried on by his son, Gunganaram Bose, and as the 
Sickdar is vested with executive authority in the district it 
is scarce possible that my people could pursue unjustifiable 
measures in opposition to him. My advances were made to 
the Molungis by their own desire in August and September 
after they had applied to Mr. Russell's banyan to make 
advances to them for the present season, which he declined 
doing, and if I had not done it they must have been destitute 
cTf the means of subsistence and of working the Khalarries. 

No. 8. First Regulations issued. 

Letter to the Collector of Jessore from the Revenue Board. 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 2, Range 67, vol. 54, p. 430. 

August 10, 1772. 

As we are come to the determination of taking all the Salt 
into the hands of Government in the same njinner as has been 
obtained in the Hugli Districts, and understanding that a 
number of Europeans are dispersed over the country carrying 
on this traffic and that they are likely to interfere and obstruct 
the course of the regulations w*e have already issued, we desire 
that you will issue orders to the Zemindars and other Officers 
of the Country Government to take such measures as may 
fully prevent any impediment to our regulations for carrying 
on that trade. And to preclude any possibility of their 
advancing the plea of ignorance, you are positively to adver- 
tize them that they are in no way to interfere with the Mo- 
lungis or others engaged in the Salt works on pain of our 
severe displeasure being shown to the person guilty of the 
first offence. 




No. 9. 

[Mr. Baher in charge of Midnapore having appealed to th^ 
Council on behalf of contractors who had made their contracts 
before hearing of the new regulations, is thus answered :\ 

Bengal Public Consultations, vol. lii. 

Should it be asserted thS,t it is usual to •make advances for 
salt 12 months before it is received it gives rise to this melan- 
choly reflection, that the condition of those individuals must 
be miserable whose necessities press them to receive advances 
so long before they can acquit themselves of their engage- 
ments ; and this can only be the result ofa previous oppression. 

To emancipate these wretches is therefore equally an act of 
humanity and of justice. The merchants, it is true, may con- 
sider this relief as a disappointment of their hopes of profiting 
by the necessities of others, but they can have no right to 
complain of injustice, if th©ir advances are returned to them. 

No. 10. Modification of the first Regulations. 
Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 2, Range 67, vol. 54, p. 543. 

Letter from Mr. Lushington of Hugli. 
October i, 1772. 


[The Revenue Board have empowered Farmers only to work 
the Salt. But the Molungis hitherto employed by the Govern- 
ment are paid less than those immigrant Molungis who have 
worked for individuals and the latter must either be paid more 
or take up other pnrk. This restriction is therefore hard upon 
the Natives.] ^• 

[It is therefore resolved by the Board that the produce of 
the year is to be entirely devoted to paying off the 12 % 
balances due to old engagements and that no new engage- 
ment of any kind shall be entefed into until that is effected. 
After that the old Contractors are to have the prior right to 
make fresh contracts.] 

Ibid., p. 557. 

October 7, 1772. 

' Plan of Settlement and Distribution of the Salt Mhals. 

1. That Salt Mhals in every part of the Provinces shall be 
on the same Footing. 

2. That all the Salt be made for the Company, 



3. That the Collaries of each District or Mhal shall be let 
J;o Farm for the term of 5 Years [on conditions of which the 
^ore important follow]. 


I. That the Salt when made shall be delivered and disposed 
of to such Merchants as shall be ^||lling to accept it by Con- 
tract for one year only on the following terms. 

6. That the Amount of the Duties shall bp put upon the 
Price of the Salt and paid with it, and that the Merchant shall 
be furnished with Rowannahs for transporting his Salt free of 
Duties to any part of the two Provinces, and that all Salt 
attempted to be passed without a Rowannah shall be seized 
and confiscated to the use of the Company. 

No. II. Salt lands farmed on five-year leases, ^ 
Bengal Letters, vol, xi, p. 382. 
February 27, 1773. 

* Para. 21. The former System for carrying on this Trade was 
productive of the greatest Inconvenience. The merchants 
who traded in this article were engaged in a labyrinth of 
perplexed accounts of Ballances due by the manufacturer 
which, if they did exist, were the consequence of their agents' 
Mismanagement or of Collusion in the conducting of so com- 
plicated a business. The Recovery of these Ballances opened 
a Source of Violence and Abuse and Government was often 
obliged to interfere its Authority. An Opportunity was also 
afforded to smuggling and Embezzlements, so that the estab- 
lished duty of 30 rupees per 100 maunds — :||hich if levied on 
the whole Salt of Bengal ought to have yif Ided an Annual 
Revenue of near 8 Lacks — produced less than 5^, while the 
Multitude of Officers and other Checks necessary to procure 
even that Amount proved a heavy Charge to the Company and 
a great Embarrassment to th^ trade. The unhealthy Situa- 
tion of the Country where the Salt is produced, the number 
of Creeks and Rivulets with which it abounds, added to the 
extreme Ignorance and Poverty of the Inhabitants rendered 
every ordinary Remedy to these Evils ineffectual. 

Para. 22. In order to put a Stop to these Abuses and at the 
same time to fulfil the Expectations of our Employers, as 
mentioned in your Commands of March 1770, we determined on 
farming out the Salt Lands on a Plan similar to that we have 
adopted for the rest of the province on Leases for five years 



and at an annual Increase of quantity. The same causes 
which induced us to extend the Leases of the Lands to thaL 
term operated equally in the present Instance, the Principl^ 
of both being the same. We confined the Manufacture of the 
Salt entirely to these Farmers who from Motives of Interest 
will be led to attend to the Ease of the Inhabitants and the 
Im.provement of this Comm odity. . . . 

Para. 23. The whole of the Salt in Bengali thus engaged to be 
delivered during the Course of the present Year amounts 
to 26 lacs of Maunds, the Duty upon which at 30 rupees p. 
100 Maunds will be R. 7 lacs and 80 thousand. 

Para. 24. Our next Object was to dispose of the Salt by an 
Annual Sale, and Advertisements were published for the Dis- 
posal of the Salt of the 24 Pergunnahs (the other Farms not 
being so forward) in Lots not exceeding 50 thousand Maunds, 
which Limit we thought it prudent to make in order to prevent 
too large a Quantity being engrossed in the Hands of one 
Person. Some sealed Proposals were in consequence deli- 
vered in, but they were so few in number and in the Terms so 
much below our Expectations, that we did not hesitate to 
reject them. ... 

Para. 27. It affords us particular Satisfaction to observe 
that whilst a large Source of Advantage is thus opened to the 
Company the Value of this Necessary of Life is not enhanced 
to the poor Inhabitants ; and the Price of Salt, so far from 
having rose in consequence of these Regulations, is even lower 
than when the Manufacture of it was open to every Individual. 

Para. 28. As Simplicity is the first Object in all our Arrange- 
ments we have formed this Plan in such a manner that the 
Farmer and Purchaser are mutual Checks upon each other, 
and thus the Es|>-blishment of Agents and the Stationing of 
Custom House Officers to prevent embezzlements becomes 
unnecessary. The Merchant's receipt to the Farmer ascer- 
tains at once the Quantity made and delivered by the latter 
to the former. The Merchant having once paid the Price of 
the Salt, including the Duty, will transport it without molesta- 
tion to any part of the Provinces, and in lieu of deriving his 
Profits from Oppression or Collusion will now find it in the free 
Vend of his Commodity. 



No. 12. Failure to sell the Salt. 
J Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 450 ; Revenue Department Letter. 

March 25, 1773. 

Whether this Plan has proved a Discouragement to those 
who might wish to be the Purchases of Salt, by confining it 
to Men of great Property, or the Xates have been fixed too 
high, no Proposals have yet been made, and We have found 
ourselves under the Necessity of resuming tHe Subject and 
making a fresh Publication on new Terms. It was accord- 
ingly resolved in our Consultations of the 23rd Instant to put 
up the whole Salt at Public Outcry on the ist of May next in 
Lots of 10,000 Maunds each. . . . The Smallness of the Lots, 
and our requiring an Advance of only 25 % instead of 75 as 
was before proposed, will diffuse the Trade more generally 
amongst all the Merchants in the Country, and by increasing 
the Number of Purchasers procure more advantageous Terms. 
From the Profits of the Sale, together with the Duties upon 
Betle-nut and Tobacco, W^e propose securing a Revenue of 
£120,000 to the Company, agreeably to your Expectations, and 
we mean to set apart the Overplus as a Fund for the Discharge 
of just Balances that may be due to private Merchants. 

No. 13. * My own Salt Plan' 
British Museum Add. MS. 29218. 

[This document is in Hastings's handwriting and undated. 
It cannot have been written before the creation of the Pro- 
vincial Councils, November 1773. The following is a sum- 
mary.] ,A 

1. A Board of Salt. 

2. To form a Board of Customs. 

3. To correspond with the Provincial Councils. 

4. The Provincial Councils to make advances, decide dis- 
putes, and appoint checks. 

5. The Provincial Councils shall keep separate Proceedings 
and send them mo,nthly. 

6. The Board of Salt shall make Contracts, issue all orders, 
and have the entire control. 

7. The Contractors shall agree to the following conditions : 

8. A bounty on the surplus Salt, at the market price. 

9. A penalty on deficient Salt, at the market price. 

10. The Hidgely and Farmer to be called on to agree to 
these conditions. 


11. Ayouts to be recalled. 

12. The duty to remain, the land rent abolished. ^ 

13. Secreted or smuggled Salt to be seized and confiscate! 
by the authority of the Provincial Councils — Salt seized to be 
the captor's. 

14. Salt to be lodged in the Golajaut, as a penalty for 
deficient quantities. C 

15. The sales to be made annually on the ist Cawn, a Coot 
to be made oi>2 month before by the Provincial Councils and 
a second Coot in the presence of the Contractor's agents on the 
day of the sale that the Board may provide for deficiencies. 

16. I. 25 % of the Purchase shall be made with delivery 
after the sale. 

2. Clearance to be made in 3 months. 

3. The purchaser shall receive an order of delivery and 
a certificate of duties paid. 

4. The lot weighed off 2 months after the order of delivery 
or sold at the risk of the ist purchaser and a fresh deposit 
taken from the 2nd. 

17. The Contractor to pay for deficient lots at the price ^of 
sale and expenses. 

18. A Custom House Officer to attend each delivery and 
endorse the Rowannah. 

19. Contractor's account to be adjusted one month after the 

20. Customs appropriated to make advances. 

21. The Contractors to draw for advances. 

22. Accounts to be kept : 

1. Treasury of accounts. 

2. Account current with each Contractor. 

3. Account^ mrrent with each District. 

4. Account 'current with Bengal Salt. 
Two Modes of delivery offered : 

1. At the Golajaut. 

2. To transfer it to Calcutta, Dacca, etc. 

No. 14. Opium Monopoly. ^ 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 225. 

December 31, 1773. 

Para. 16. The President on his return from Patna referred 
to our consideration the circumstance of the Opium Trade in 
that Province. It was found to have been carried on for 
many years as a monopoly, and however paradoxical such an 




assertion may seem to those who are not fully acquainted with 
^he subject it clearly appeared to us, upon a minute investiga- 
tion, that an attempt to lay it open to all persons indiscrimi- 
nately as a free and uninfluenced trade, instead of being bene- 
ficial to the cultivator and useful to these Provinces, would be 
productive of consequences the very reverse. We therefore 
deemed it most advisable to farni>it out on the Company's 
account, reserving for the Dutch the quantity they had usually 
received. We have accordingly farmed it to Mir Muneer and 
Ramchurn Pundit, who had before the management of this 
business under the Factory at Patna. We have prohibited all 
other persons under (^ur protection from interfering with it 
and we have determined to sell it by public auction for the 
benefit of the Company. 

Para. 17. The profit arising from this sale will we believe 
prove a more than sufficient fund for the payment of the 
allowance fixed for the Members of our Board, as explained at 
large in our Proceedings. 

No. 15. Bank. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29207, Supreme Council of Revenue [no copy- 
in India Office]. 

March 25, 1773. 

Many letters from the Collectors now lying before the Board 
and requiring instructions concerning the batta to be charged 
on the several species of rupees received from the Zemindars 
and Farmers in payment of the public revenues and also 
concerning the mode of remitting the same to the Presidency. 

The President now lays before the Board the following pro- 
posals relative to both these subjects, whi ja he submits to 
their consideration as the only expedient which has occurred 
to him for bringing the revenue into the Treasury of the 
Hon. Company without injuring the circulation of specie, at 
the same time insuring the Government the full value of 
the rupees received in payment of the rents, and furnishing 
the merchants with the means of making remittances to the 
Aurungs without, the hazard and expense to which both the 
revenue and trade of the country are exposed by remittances 
made to and from the different parts of it in specie. 

He is informed that the great complaints which are made 
from all the northern districts of the 2 provinces of the 
inability of the farmers to pay their rents on account of the 
uncommon plenty and cheapness of grain, are primarily owing 
to the great drains which have been made of the current coin 



in the districts by the Collections, which for some years past 
have centred in the public Treasuries of the City of Moofshe^ 
dabad and at the Presidency and to the want of an equal tradS 
to carry it back again into circulation. 

To provide an effectual remedy to this growing evil must be 
the work of mature experience and a course of years and can 
never be thoroughly ac(^ mplished unti] that freedom of 
trade which the Company have so earnestly recommended 
can be established, by removing the obstructions which have 
occasioned its present stagnation, and opening new channels 
for the wealth of other countries to flow as formerly into 
Bengal, what is now proposed he ca^^ only recommend as 
a palliative, as a temporary expedient, but he hopes that it 
may prove hereafter an essential aid to every future measure 
which may be adopted for completing the desired ends, which 
can never be fully attained while the Government is under the 
necessity of conveying its wealth in loads from the most remote 
parts of the province with 'the destructive parade of military 
escorts ; or while the merchant has no other means of pur- 
chasing the manufactures and productions of the Country 
but that of conveying the same wealth with an insupportable 
expense of boats, peons, burcardasses, and travelling agents, 
and exposed to the greatest perils from decoits, accidents to 
which their boats are for ever liable in the way from secret 
embezzlements and the treachery of those to whose charge it 
is committed : . . . 

Regulation i. That a principal house or Bank, under the 
conduct of one or more responsible Shroffs, be established at 
the Presidency through which all remittances of revenue shall 
be made from the districts of the province, and an inferior 
house, under the|;harge of one or more Gomastahs, dependent 
on the principal m each district or collectorship. 

Regulation 2. That the Collectors shall not exchange the 
rupees which they receive in the payment of their collections, 
but shall pay them to the Shroffs or Gomastahs of the House 
established in their districts, in''che same species in which they 
were received, taking their bills on the capital house. . . . 

Regulation 4. . . . All merchants and others who may have 
dealings in the country shall have liberty to make the remit- 
tances to the Aurungs through the Channel of the said Bank. . . . 



Problem of tenures — Revenue GDmmittee of Circuit — Five Years' Lease 
System — Revenue Boards removed — Supervisors reduced to Collectors 
— Increase of arrears — Plan of 1775 to extend leases — Aumenee assess- 
ment of 1777 — Value of these experiments. 

The most urgent and important reform was that of the Land 
Settlement, or appointment of those who should be responsible 
for the revenues, for it formed the basis of the administrative 
system, carrying with it judicial r»unctions and determining 
the economic situation of the mass of the people as well as that 
of the magnates. The problem that presented itself was com- 
plicated and obscure. As John Shore said later : * There it 
was, so many square miles of noble country, yielding all sorts 
of produce and a revenue of two millions ; but in whom the 
rightful ownership of all those broad beegahs was vested, we 
knew no more than we did of the landed property of the 
moon.* As a matter of fact it was the absence of any ' rightful 
ownership ' that was at the root of the matter : ' property in 
land ' in the English sense could hardly be said to exist in 
India. Under these circumstances what^^er system the 
Calcutta Council might decree could be regarded only as an 

Since the Company had received the grant of the Diwani, 
two methods had been tried of» making the yearly Settlement. 
At first the old native practice of holding a Poonah or assem- 
bly for the settl^ent at Murshidabad, to which all renters 
of lands were summoned, was continued by Mohamed Reza 
Khan and Francis Sykes. Then in 1770 the supervisors were 
empowered to make the settlement in their own districts, in 
order to save the Zemindars from the expense of attendance at 
the capital. But this gave dangerous power into the hands of 
* Kaye, The Administration of the East India Company, p. 168. 




the supervisors, and it was recognized in 1772 that before all 
else their authority must be reduced and put under contro^ 
Hastings's views travelled beyond the requirements of the 
yearly account, and he determined ^ to make a thorough 
investigation and a new assessment which should serve as 
a basis for a permanent ^ system of laijd-rents. The only 
machinery in existence for such work was the Calcutta Revenue 
Board created 'in 1771 to control and co-ordinate that of the 
older Revenue Boards of Murshidabad, Patna, and Dacca. 
It was Hastings's aim to strengthen th^ central authority and 
remove the conflicting local courts. With this in view he 
induced the Revenue Board at Calcutta to dispatch a Com- 
mittee, consisting of four of its members, Messrs, Middleton, 
Dacres, Lawrell, and Graham, on an ' iter ' to see and settle the 
districts lying east of the Vjanges, while the remaining mem- 
bers under Mr. Aldersey dealt with the districts lying about 
Calcutta and to the west. The Province of Bihar was not 
included in this survey, as it had been more recently settled. 

The first experiment to be tried, and that on which all later 
ones were founded, was the five years lease system. This was 
decided upon on May 14, 1772,2 as a result of the inquiries 
Hastings had been making since his arrival. ' The farming 
system for a course of years, subject to proper checks and 
regulations,' seemed to him, as it had to Becher in 1769, * to be 
the most likely to afford relief to the country and both to 
ascertain and produce the real value of the lands without 
violence to the ryots.' ^ It was the more necessary to pro- 
ceed at once to a settlement because the famine of 1770 had 
left an extraordinary scene of distress and many waste lands. 
Reports to the Directors spoke«of indescribable mortality and 
beggary. In Purneah and Bhirbhum the country was return- 
ing to jungle for want of inhabitants, whe;*e formerly there 
had been 1,000 villages. Some of the rajas were ruined and 
others imprisoned for arrears of rents. Estimates of the loss 
of life went as high as one-half and one-third — Hastings's own 

^ Vide Proposed Regulations, Nos. 6 and 12, pp. 156; 159. 

* Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 2, Range 67, vol. 54. 

' Bengal Secret Consultations, vol. ix, May 24, 1769. 



account — though the real average for the Province was prob- 
ably nearer one-sixth. The effect of these natural causes oi) 
distress among the peasantry was enhanced by the artificial ' 
one of the Najay cess,^ a levy made upon the living inhabitants 
of a village to supply the loss to the revenues of the rents of 
the dead. It was an old practice^^but its effect was to cause 
the few remaining ryots in a depopulated village to take to 
flight rather than face the extortion. 

In a letter of November 3, 1772, to the Court of Directors, 
Hastings described th^ need for a new settlement as crying. 

' Though 7 years had elapsed since the Company became 
possessed of the Dewanni, yet no regular process had ever 
been formed for conducting the business of the Revenue and 
this depended on the land-settlement. Every Zemindari and 
every Taaluk was left to its own particular customs. These 
indeed were not inviolably adhered to ; the novelty of the 
business to those who were appointed to superintend it, the 
cjiicanery of the people whom they were obliged to employ as 
their agents, the accidental exigencies of each district, and not 
unfrequently the just discernment of the Collector occasioned 
many changes. Every change added to the confusion which 
involved the whole and few were either authorised or known 
by the presiding members of the Government.' ^ 

The Calcutta Board of Revenue met on May 14, 1772, to 
initiate the new Settlement. They appointed the Committee 
of Circuit to deal with the eastern districts, and laid down the 
two main principles on which its work was to be conducted, 
* to farm the lands and on long leases *. 'lHheir reasons are 
given in a valuable minute.^ They further passed twenty-four 
resolutions for the Committee's guidance {vide p. 274), 
which pointed out the chief measures to be taken, though 
leaving much to their discretion. To make a satisfactory 
assessment it would have been necessary first to ascertain the 
right of every cultivator to the land he tilled, and secondly 
to assign the collection of his rent to a responsible autho- 
rity. But there were no trustworthy records from which such 
rights could be estimated, nor was the evidence of living 

* House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 300. 

2 Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 78. 

3 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 300 ; also p. 266. 
1526.9 c 



witnesses to be relied on. The most scrupulous and prolonged 
inquiries could not have avoided unjust awards, while the| 
matter was of the utmost urgency and admitted of no delay. 
For these reasons Hastings postponed his inquest into the 
cultivators' rights, sanctioned the accepted and existing 
status quo, and directed tl^ j operations of ^.the Committee to 
securing an equitable collection of the taxes and a ready and 
impartial justice in the determining of property disputes. 
The five-year leases would gradually display the actual value 
of the lands, and when once a trustw^orthy judicial system 
should be restored it would become possible to investigate the 
cultivator's tenure. 

The work of 1772 is practically summed up in the two 
epoch-making promulgations, the Settlement Resolutions 
of the Board of Revenue ' (p. 274) and the Plan of Justice 
issued by the Committee of Circuit.^ The most interesting 
of the Settlement Resolutions are Nos. 6, 9, 12, 16, 18, and 
21. The change of the title of supervisors implied a real 
restriction of their dangerous local supremacy. Hastings 
thus expressed his reasons for it : * As the business of the 
agents is solely to superintend and collect the Revenue they 
can only be properly stiled collectors ... so much depends on 
the just application of names that we urge this alteration 
with a thorough conviction both of its utility and necessity.' 
His real aims and the reason for this guarded language in 
addressing the directors on the subject are revealed in an 
intimate letter to Mr. Dupre on January 6, 1773 : * They were 
originally what the word supervisor imports, simple lookers-on 
without trust or authority. They became collectors and 
ceased to be lookers-on; but 'though this change had taken 
place two years before I arrived, yet I found to my astonish- 
ment that they were known to the Court o^ Directors only in 
their original character. It was necessary to undeceive the 
Company. It was once intended to withdraw the collectors 
entirely. They monopolize the trade of the Country. . . . 
These perquisites I believe to be an oppression on the people 
and an obstruction of the Revenue. They are most of them 
1 Committee of Circuit, vol. i, p. 181. 



the agents of their own banyans, and they are devils. And 
Kas the collectorships are more lucrative than any posts in the 
Service (the Government itself not excepted) we cannot get 
a man of abilities to conduct the official business : for who 
would rest satisfied with a handsome salary of 3,000 or 4,000 
rupees a year to ^naintain him Calcutta, who could get 
a lack or three lacks and live at no expense in the districts ? 
But . . . there were among them so many sons, cousins, or 
Mhes of Directors and intimates of the members of the Council 
that it was better to l^t them remain than to provoke an army 
of opponents against every act of Administration. They con- 
tinue, but their power is retrenched : and the way is paved for 
their gradual removal.' ^ 

Henceforthithe collector was to be strictly accountable to 
the Revenue Board, his decrees tnly valid under the Com- 
pany's seal, which the boldest would hardly dare to use for 
purposes of extortion on his own account; the Diwan and 
Mohir ^ would act as checks upon him, and the removal of 
the Pargana sepoys deprive him of his former weapons of 
offence. He was strictly forbidden to make loans or to deal in 
grain, and had Hastings had his way this prohibition would 
have been extended to all the necessaries of life. His agents 
were debarred from being rent-farmers or usurers ; in com- 
pensation for these restrictions the collector was entrusted 
with the whole responsibility and honour of administering 
justice and forwarding the welfare of his d*j|(:rict. 'i Unable to 
secure the removal of these collectors, Hastings thus adopted 
the fine alternative of calling out their best powers and spur' 
ring the sense of honour which he gladly admitted to be latent 
in them, by making them the* mainsprings of his new system. 
In 1774 they began to be superseded by the institution of the 
Provincial Councils, and their removal was provided for in the 
Plan of Permanent Revenue Reform then drafted and put into 
practice in 1781. The next most important reform was the 
removal of the Zemindari chokeys ; but the attempt to lessen 
usury was a task of greater difficulty and met with less success. 

In the actual leasing of the lands, begun at Kishenagur 
1 Gleig, vol. i, p. 268. 2 Vide p. 274. 15. 

S 2 



in June, the first question was how to deal with those of 
hereditary holders, such as Zemindars or Talukdars. The^ 
lands might either be let to new rent-farmers who should make 
an allowance out of their profits to the former holders, or the 
Zemindars themselves might be retained. The latter alterna- 
tive was preferred for man^l' reasons : ^it w^s more equitable ; 
cheaper in the collection ; it would retain on the land men of 
local influence and traditional authority over the ryots ; it 
was in closer accord than the other with the directions from 
England; and finally it was much the( more secure. These 
Zemindars were for the most part men attached to their farms, 
who would not abscond so long as any possibility remained of 
meeting their engagements. The Company would also have 
a further hold over them in the threat of reducing them to the 
status of ordinary tax-farni'ers. Yet the proposals made by 
these men in response to the first invitation of the Committee 
were so vague, of such low amounts, and so disadvantageous 
to the Company, that partial recourse to the other mode 
became unavoidable, and a compromise was the result. Some 
of the lands held by Zemindars and Talukdars who were ready 
to give good terms for them were at once granted to the former 
holders ; others, for which no sufficient sum was offered, were 
put up to public auction. This induced others of the heredi- 
tary holders to bid high enough to secure their lands ; the rest 
either passed into fresh hands or remained in the Company's 
control, and werf managed by the Revenue servants on the 
same conditions as the ancient Khas or Government lands.) 

The redistribution involved the Committee in the trouble- 
some business of forming a new Hustabud or schedule of 
taxes. Little was retained beSide the ground-rent proper ; 
the * Hajay ' was abolished as being a notoriously oppressive 
expedient, the ' Haldarry ' or tax on marriages was obviously 
false economy where labourers were in such request, the 
* Bazee Jumma *, or fines for petty offences, opened the door 
to bribery ; all these were ended. New * Pottahs * or culti- 
vators' leases and ' Amulnamas ' or tax-farmers* agreements 
were issued. The ryot's pottah ran as follows : 

• For the Jumma and ground that you hold in the village of 


X a pottah for the present year is now made out and given to 
.you, containing the different rates, as specified underneath, 
which you are to pay and no more. No demand of Mhatoote, 
Puncheek, or Dereenck will be made upon you. The Haldarry 
upon marriages and Baxee Jumma of the Sudder have also 
been remitted ; these you will not have to pay. Whatever 
you was before in jDossession of, a-|d the ground together with 
the trees upon it, which before belonged to you, that you are 
now to keep possession of, and exerting yourself towards culti- 
vation, pay your rent agreeable to the Kistbundy.'^ For 
the Bengal year 1179 [1772-3]. 

An annually increasing scale of rents was demanded from 
all who accepted the office of tax-farmer, as it was to be ex- 
pected that the longer leases would enable their holders to 
improve the lands. Not only the collectors and their banyans 
were debarred from holding f arms^ but no European was to be 
permitted directly or indirectly to rent lands in any part of the 
country. Henceforth the English were to be confined to their 
|)roper functions of developing the external commerce and 
undertaking the cares of the Government. 

The new regulations had been framed to obviate the need 
for local Revenue Councils, and on September 8, 1772, the 
Revenue Council at Murshidabad consequently dissolved 
itself, that at Patna being also abolished in this year,^ and the 
collections put under the management of the Supreme Govern- 
ment at Calcutta with no other intermediaries than the collec- 
tors themselves. The old arrangement had caused constant 
delays of justice while doubtful cases of clfeputed ownership 
were being referred to Calcutta and back ; but in addition to 
this there was a purely political reason. Murshidabad was 
the Nawab's seat, and since his power was to be annulled it was 
not advisable that his capital should continue to be the centre 
of authority in such matters, nor was so ill-fortified a city 
a secure hold for treasure in view of Maratha threats. 

While satisfied that to farm the lands on long leases was the 
best method of settlement, the Committee of Circuit recognized 
its imperfections, saying, ' Any mode of agency is liable to 
uncertainty and embezzlements and confessing * We own we 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 319. 

2 I. O. Records, Range 2. i, p. 640. 



foresee many difficulties and impediments, which we hope will 
only affect ourselves in the additional labour which it will^ 
require to remove them ' ; but on any other system they held 
that the business, 'already so great that much is unavoidably 
neglected, would be rendered so voluminous that nothing 
would be duly attended to, ( /rears would acprue, and authority 
be set at nought and the power it must delegate abused *. 
They were therefore unanimous in supporting Hastings's 
proposals. The fiscal results of this first experiment are well 
known to have been disappointing, and ^'n 1774 the collections 
were still low in amount, and Hastings's expectation that 
imperfections and miscalculations inevitable in such experi- 
ments would be made to redound to his discredit was amply 
fulfilled. The heavy arrears of Zemindars, who in their 
anxiety to retain their here(aitary lands had engaged for sums 
beyond their power to raise in an ordinary season, made an 
excellent stick to beat him with, and Philip Francis — ^when hp 
came out — lost not a day in laying hold of it. But having 
foreseen this, Hastings was forearmed and did not allow the 
hostile criticism of inexperienced men to shake the matured 
growth of his convictions ; he pursued his measures steadily 
and gave much time in the Revenue Council to the investiga- 
tion of the vexed problems of tenure.^ 

Hastings's reforming influence had already begun to be felt 
by those in the service. John Shore, afterwards himself 
Governor-GeneraJ^iwas at this time a junior servant. In a 
letter home dated April i, 1772, written from Murshidabad, 
he says, ' The road to opulence grows daily narrower, and is 
more crowded with competitors. . . . The Court of Directors 
are actuated with such a spirit-'of reformation and retrench- 
ment, and so well seconded by Mr. Hastings, that it seems the 
rescission of all our remaining emoluments w,Ul alone suffice it. 
The Company's service is in fact rendered an employ not very 
desirable.' ^ And Hastings himself was not unconscious of the 
effect produced. What he wrote in 1781 applies with scarcely 
less force to 1772 : ' What a world of enemies have I sub- 

1 Forrest, Selections from the Dispatches, vol. i, pp. 139, 359, Sec. 
* Life of Lord Teignmouth, vol. i, p. 35. 




mitted to the hazard of creating by disregard of personal 
^onsequences. In this establishment I have deprived the 
bulk of both civil and military servants of their settled means 
of acquiring rapid fortunes . . . the most important acts of 
this Government are constituted on principles diametrically 
opposite to popularity and establi.Jaed opinions.' Is it neces- 
sary to look farther than these retrenchments and the lowered 
receipts from investments and revenues to 'account for the 
subsequent persecution of this great administrator ? He 
deliberately forwent J:he approval of his countrymen in the 
determination to raise the condition of the native; but the 
standards of conduct which he then planted have become the 
tradition of generations of Anglo-Indian servants. 

The proceedings of the President and Revenue Council in 
1774-5 are not included in the*report of revenue matters 
made by the House of Commons Committee, but they were 
pot without result. Hastings and Barwell, working now in 
complete accord — for Barwell had realized the unique experi- 
ence and ability of Hastings — drew up a new Plan for a Settle- 
ment, which they dispatched to England on April 22, 1775.-^ 
It has been little regarded by historians, and unfortunately it 
did not take effect ; for the Directors, despite the many warn- 
ings contained in reports from Bengal, preferred the pernicious 
system of annual leases, advocated by Francis. The Plan is, 
however, interesting. Mr. Beveridge has discussed it in de- 
tail, and observes very justly that it emb;Qdies the matured 
views of the man best versed in Indiair affairs.^ It was 
published in a pamphlet on the Revenues of Bengal by Francis, 
with his own alternative scheme, which offers an instructive 
contrast both in style and »matter. Hastings had already 
invited the majority to form such a scheme and they had 
confessed themselves unable : ' At this moment we should be 
very much embarrassed if we were called upon to make a new 
settlement of the lands.' Yet Francis soon made the attempt, 
and based it upon the erroneous principle that Zemindars were 
owners of the land and that it should be confirmed to them 
in perpetuity. What little he knew of the subject he had 

^ Vide p. 280. 2 Beveridge, History of India, vol. ii, p. 418. 




learned since his arrival in India from John Shore, and when 
the latter fell ill, Philip Francis, to Hastings's amusement^ 
fell silent, until his recovery. 

The importance of this Plan of 1775 is that it retains and so 
sanctions some of the most disputed characteristics of the 
first experiment — sale by d| ction, namely, and the principle of 
long leases, here greatly extended. So much so indeed that 
Beveridge appeUrs to consider it a plan for a permanent 
tenure. * It furnishes he says, Vthe outline of a permanent 
settlement, and these leases, though sajd to be for life, were 
meant for perpetuity, as it was provided that possession 
should, on the death of the party holding it, devolve to his 
heirs.' This, however, as we have seen, was simply a return 
to the old rule of Zemindari inheritance, which had obtained 
under native rule. It was^^very far removed from the error 
of making the Zemindar the freehold owner of lands from 
which he had really only the right of collecting the dues. Iq 
this Plan, therefore, while he ensured stability by granting 
leases for two lives — practically the same thing as the mo- 
dern rule of thirty years' tenancy — he took care to avoid the 
dangers of rigidity of tenure, and insisted upon the Govern- 
ment's right to dispossess defaulting Zemindars, as the essential 
stipulation without which they would constantly fail in their 
engagements. The arguments on which the Plan is based 
are also to be found in summary form in a minute of the 
Government.^ gs 

Whatever the upshot might be, whatever the plan the Direc- 
tors might see fit to approve, any new settlement must, like 
its predecessor, be based on a thorough inquiry into the 
existing values of the lands. ♦Although the authorities at 
home might imagine that the valuations of 1772 should still 
hold good, Hastings knew from the collectgrs' reports that 
many causes had contributed greatly to alter them. He was 
therefore anxious to see this work begun in time. In March 
1776 he wrote as follows to Sulivan : * The 5 years* settlement 
expires in March 1777. Many previous arrangements ought 
to be made some time before the new settlement takes place. 
^ Forrest, Selections from State Papers, vol. ii, p. 526. 



I would, had I power, begin them now.' In July, in a letter 
p:o Macleane, he says : 

' The worst consequences may be apprehended both to the 
Company and to the country from a new settlement, formed 
under all the prejudices, and accommodated to all the objects 
of a faction. Even now every pow'^r of Government would be 
required to restore it to order. A few months hence may 
involve it in such distraction as may hazard^ the loss of the 
whole.' ^ 

The controversy started by Francis in the Calcutta Council 
was then at its heigh?. General Clavering claiming the Presi- 
dential authority on account of Hastings's conditional resig- 
nation, which the latter had withdrawn. Hastings was in 
a minority, and therefore impotent, but on September 25, 
Mqnson, one of his three opponentj^ died, and he recovered his 
proper authority. Nevertheless he still refrained from using 
it to push on all the measures he had at heart, lest if he were 
removed in the course of them confusion might be only worse 
confounded. And yet at this very time Francis wrote : * He 
has got the reins and is driving furiously.' But this matter 
of the Settlement was an exception. The work of preparation 
for it would introduce no risk of disturbances, even were it 
interrupted by his recall. He took his opportunity, created a 
new office, called the Aumenee, for investigating the rents and 
rights in the land, and by November 22, 1777, had obtained 
clear accounts of every district except part of Rajshahi, and 
could comfort himself with the convictioi^^that this would 
ensure his * being remembered with lasting credit * by the 
people, however misjudged at home. It is to this he alludes 
in his letter to Stewart of December 21, 1776 : 

* I have begun measures which belong only to a fixed and 
permanent gover/iment, and shall go on piano, piano, to 
others as necessity or occasion shall throw them in my way. 
I collect materials for future application which will be of use 
to me if I remain, which any new rulers will be glad to find 
ready for their use, and which, if General Clavering is to have 
the rule, he may totally reject or adopt my plan if he pleases, 
just as if he had lain idle or asleep in the interval. . . . But 

1 Gleig, vol. ii, pp. 38-47. 



in spite of rancour, obstinacy, and ignorance yet more gross 
than his, he would find himself, in that case even, compelled^ 
by their incontestable utility, to employ them.' ^ ^ 

Hastings himself retained the office ; unhappily, however, 
his opponents were predominant at home, and the Court of 
Directors sent out orders! forbidding the ^ long leases and so 
sacrificing the * remote consequences * which in Hastings's 
view counted fbr so much, in order that they might secure 
a possible immediate gain through annual leases, ignoring 
their ruinous effect on the cultivator aijd his land. 

Yet, although for the moment despised, Hastings's Plan 
had exposed the bed-rock principle for a permanent and 
enduring method of tenures, and laid the foundation for it in 
ascertaining more closely the worth of each holding, and John 
Shore, working under him, was coming to recognize the sound- 
ness of his statesmanship. Through this man, the adviser 
of Lord Cornwallis and afterwards Governor, the great Pro- 
consul's principles were asserted, so that the * incontestable 
utility ' which Hastings claimed for his experiments has been 
fully proved and made available for the spreading require- 
ments of our Indian Empire. 

No. I. 

Calcutta Commitf ' of Revenue Consultations, 2, Range 67, vol. 54. 

May 14, 1772. 

There is no doubt that the mode of letting the Lands in 
farm is in every respect the most eligible. It is the most 
simple and therefore the best adapted to a Government con- 
stituted like that of the Company, which cannot enter into the 
detail and minutiae of the Collections. Any mode of agency 
by which the rents might be received is liafcle to incertainty, 
to perplexed and inextricable accounts, to an infinity of little 
balances and to embezzlements. In a word both the interest 
of the State and the property of the people must be at the 
mercy of the agents. Nor is it an object of trivial considera- 
tion that the business of the service, already so great that 

^ Gleig, vol. ii, p. 121. 



much of it is unavoidably neglected, would be thereby ren- 
ered so voluminous, and the attention of the Board so 
ivided that nothing would be duly attended to. The current 
affairs would fall into irrecoverable arrears ; the resolutions 
upon them be precipitate and desultory ; the authority of ' 
Government set at nought, the Power which it must necessarily 
delegate to others ^ould be abuse^^, and the most pernicious 
consequences ensue from the impossibility of finding time to 
examine and correct them. « 

That such would be the case we with confidence affirm, 
because we already experience the existence of these evils in 
part from the great increase of affairs which has devolved to 
the charge of this Government, and the want of a reduced 
system, no less than from a want of immediate inspection and 
execution. This is a point well worth the attention of the 
Board in every proposition that may come before them, as it 
essentially respects the constitution and general interests of 
the Company. 

To let the lands for long leases is a necessary consequence of 
letting them ; the Farmer who holds his farm for one year 
only, having no interest in the next, takes what he can with 
the hand of rigor, which in the execution of legal claims is 
often equivalent to violence ; he is under the necessity of being 
rigid and even cruel, for what is left in arrear after the expira- 
tion of his power is at best a doubtful debt, if ever recoverable. 
He will be tempted to exceed the bounds of jright and to aug- 
ment his income by irregular exactions and by racking the 
tenants, for which excuses will not be wanting where the farms 
pass annually from one hand to another. What should hinder 
him } He has nothing to lose by the desertion of the inhabi- 
tants or the decay of cultivation. Some of tf^e richest articles 
of tillage require a length of time to come to perfection ; the 
ground must be manured, banked, watered, ploughed and 
sowed or planted. Those operations are begun in one season 
and cost a heavy expence which is to be repaid by the crops of 
the ensuing year. What Farmer will give either encouragement 
or assistance to a culture of which another is to reap the fruits } 

The discouragements which the tenants feel from being 
transferred every year to new landlords are a great objection 
to short leases. They contribute to injure the cultivation and 
dispeople the lands. They deprive the industrious reiat of 
those aids, known by the name of 'Tuccaubee so essentially 
necessary to enable him to purchase cattle, seed, and uten- 
sils of husbandry, which a more permanent farmer will ever 
find it in his interest to supply as a means of promoting an 



encreased cultivation, and they of course prove an insurmount- 
able obstacle to bringing into an arable state the immense 
tracts of waste lands which overspread this fertile country. ^ 
The defects of short leases point out as a necessary conse- 
quence the opposite advantages of long farms. From these 
the farmer acquires a permanent interest in his lands. He 
will for his own sake lay cl.?t money in assisting his tenants, in 
improving lands already cultivated, and in clearing and culti- 
vating waste lands. He will not dare to injure the rents, nor 
encroach in one year on the profits of the next, because the 
future loss which must ensue from such a proceeding will be 
his own. The tenants will grow familiarised to his authority 
and a mutual attachment is at least more likely to proceed 
from a long intercourse between them, especially when their 
interests are mutually blended, than from a new and transi- 
tory connection which is ready to expire before it can grow into 
acquaintance. Such are the arguments which have occurred 
to us in support of the twb po'ints on which we have already 
determined, namely to dispose of the Lands to farm and on long 
leases, ^ 

No. 2. Separate Regulations [enclosed in letter to Colebrooke], 

Sent on March 26, 1772, cf. p. 148. 

British Museum Add. MS. 29127, p. 20. 

[This is of interest as forming the rough draft on which the 
Settlement Resolutions were based, and also the Plan of 
Justice. The notes on each important regulation are Hast- 
ings's own, corresponding with the aims of the Proposed Regu- 
lations, but advjT'^cing a stage nearer to practical realization. 
They should be compared with the Settlement Resolutions, 
which betray certain modifications of aim.] 

1. That the Lands of the Provinces shall be lett out to farm 
for the term of six years. 

The reason for assigning this term is that the crops continually 
vary in the same place, taking their rotation in 3 years ; as the 
rents vary with them, the leases should be for ,3, or 6, or 9 years. 

2. That orders shall be sent to the Collectors to advertise for 
sealed proposals from such as are willing to take farms, the 
proposals to be sent to the Presidency, and the grants of the 
leases to be issued from thence. 

3. That orders be sent to the Collectors to send to the 
Presidency copies of the Jumma-wausil-Baukee (i.e. Annual 
Account of the Settlements, payments of Balances) of each 
pergunnah, distinguishing the Farms or other Divisions and 



inserting the Names of the Farmers, Shicdars, or others who 
iiad charge of each, for the last three Years. 
" 4. That the Zemidar of every District shall be restored to 
his authority but dependent on the Collector, that all Bunda- 
busts [Settlements of the Rents] not determined by the Board' 
shall be made by him. That the Collections shall be received 
by him jointly with„):he Collectors, //hat he shall keep separate 
Accounts of the Collections according to the established Forms 
of the Country, countersign all Receipts anxi all Accounts 
transmitted to the Board of Revenue or Presidency by the 

5. But that as the .lemidar from Nonage or other incapa- 
city may not himself be able to attend to the Business of the 
Cucherry, in such case a fixed Dewan shall be appointed who 
shall act in his stead. 

The two preceding Regulations, which may be regarded as one, 
are meant to prevent a confusion in accounts by the change of 
the Collectors, and to put it in the power of the Zemidar to prevent 
the abuses of the authority of the Collector. The Zemidar having 
a perpetual and hereditary interest in the Country and the people 
, being in general attached to him, he is the natural guardian of 
their rights, and is less likely to oppress them, or injure his Zemi- 
darree than any temporary ruler, though an Englishman, because 
it is his own. 

6. That neither the Collector nor Zemidar shall send Peons, 
Seepoys, or other persons with authority into the Lands be- 
longing to the Farmers, excepting only on such occasions as 
shall indispensably require it for the Maintenance of the Peace, 
or the Execution of Justice, in which the authority of the 
Farmer shall be insufficient. And that on such occasions 
a Warrant under the Seal of the Collector shall be given in 
writing to the Officer or Persons employed, a,2_d be recorded in 
the judicial proceedings with the reasons fOi%suing it. 

7. That the Collector be forbidden on pain of dismission 
from the Service to be concerned directly or indirectly in the 
purchase or sale of Grain. 

This is a very gentle and partial Restriction and ought to extend 
to all the Necessaries of Life, Of all monopolies these are the most 
pernicious, and whatever the Collector, the Lord of the Country 
trades in will be ^ monopoly. 

8. That no Banyan, Mutteseddie, or other Servants of what- 
ever Denomination, of the Collector be allowed to farm lands ; 
nor directly or indirectly to hold any Concern in any Farm, nor 
to be security for any Farmer. That the Collector be strictly 
enjoined to prevent such practices; and that if it shall be 
discovered that any one under a false name, or any Kind of 
collusion, hath found means to evade this order, he shall be 
subject to a heavy Fine proportionate to the amount of the 



Farm and that the Farm shall be relett or made Causs, [i.e. 
t^lcen into the immediate charge of the Government]. - 

There are two valid and obvious reasons for this Regulation 
the farms will always be lett greatly under their real value if they 
■ are farmed by those whose duty it is to ascertain their value, and 
what man will be so bold as to offer himself a competitor with 
the minister of the Lord o^the Country ? 

9. That the farmer shall not receive larger rents from the 
reiats [tenants] ^than the Settled ^alguzarry [i.e. tbe Amount 
stipulated in the Lease]. 

10. That all Assessments under the name of Muttaoot shall 
be wholly and for ever abolished, nor shgJl any Mangun or free 
Gift be taken but by the free consent of every Individual con- 
tributing to it. 

I Muttaoot is a general Name for all Assessments on the Tenants 
for particular Occasions. These have formerly multiplied to 
a great List of oppressive Exactions. They are now Collected in 
most places by the Farmer* and cform a part of the Malguzzarree. 
They should for ever continue under one Head and one Collector 
and the Rule should be universal. For the Farmer cannot be certain 
of receiving his Rents if other Taxes are arbitrarily levied, and by 

. other hands, from his Tenants, which is the Practice with the 

11. That no man of whatever Rank or Authority shall cut 
down Trees or Bamboos nor take anything by Force from the 
inhabitants without their freewill or Consent though paying 
the full price for the same. 

12. That Proclamations shall be made prohibiting all 
persons from lending money to the Zemidars, Talukdars, 
Farmers, or any other officer of the Revenue. That the Col- 
lector be enjoined to reject all Applications for the Recovery 
of such Loans, a^d that any man using Violence or Intimida- 
tion to enforce payment of a Debt so contracted shall be 
severely punished. 

13. But that this Regulation shall not extend to Debts con- 
tracted before the Publication of it : that all old Debts shall be 
claimed within the space of six months by application to the 
public Cucherry, and settled with the allowance of a reasonable 
Interest and a Kistbundee (or instalment) fixed for payment 
without 'any addition of interest, the Kists (or Periods) to be 
regulated by the ability of the Debtor. That the Collector 
and Zemidar shall settle the debts of the Farmer or the 
officers or dependents of the Zemidarree and the Collector 
those of the Zemidar : and that all Zemidaree debts not 
claimed within the limited time of six months from the publi- 
cation of this order shall be cancelled. 

The only Losers by this Regulation will be the Money Lenders. 



The Proceedings of the Court Martial on Capt. Mackenzie and the 
other Enquiries made on that Occasion may serve to shew how 
$ necessary it is to free the Land from the Evils of Usury and accumu- 
lated Interest, which is rarely less than 3 and often as high as 15 % 
per Mensum, which with Monthly Accumulations and Fees to 
Agents, Banyans, Peons and Seepoys may amount to 200 % p.a. 
Every Rupee thus squeezed from the People is in effect taken 
from the Government, which can rec/^ive from the People no more 
than they have to give. To fix the Kate of Interest is impossible, 
because it is to be eluded by a thousand Means. The Lender will 
give 90 rupees and take a Bond payable in om Month at ^ % 
Interest for 100 ; that is, he will lend his Money at more than 11% 
and how is this to be proved against him? The only way to 
abolish the Evils arising from Debts of Usury is to Cancel them 
altogether, that is, to ifefuse the aid of Government in recovering 
them, and leave the Creditor to the Faith of his Debtor — a virtue 
as rare in the one as Mercy is in the other. » 

14. That the Pergunnah Seepoys shall be withdrawn and 
the ancient Establishment of Payks be restored, who shall be 
subject to the present authority of , the Collector. 

15. That as it may still be necessary to keep up a Force in 
some of the Frontier Districts or occasionally to employ Seepoys 
ia the Defence of the Country, or in seizing Robbers, that 
wherever or whenever it shall be required, Strict Orders shall be 
given to the Officer Commanding them to prevent the Seepoys 
from separating from their Corps or committing any kind of 
disturbance in the Country — and that unless the Service on 
which they are employed shall particularly require their 
acting in detached parties, they be kept together in one body 
and that forts of Tannahs with convenient temporary 
Quarters be provided at the charge of Government for their 

[N.B. — ^Tannahs or Tannadars were officers of a small 
number of sepoys or land-servants, i.e. poVfp.] 

It is sufficient to say in Favor of these Regulations that the 
Pergunnah Seepoys are a detestable Establishment. They are 
unfit for military Service. The very Nature of their Employment 
renders them incapable of Discipline. The Farmers often desire 
them to be stationed under theAi, but I can find no other Cause for 
this Desire than that they may be exempted from the Violences of 
other Seepoys not stationed with them. The See.poys are hand- 
somely feed for this Service. They turn Money-lenders, Adminis- 
trators of Justice, and Judges of property. — ^They are and must be 
Plunderers. The Spirit of Avarice and Rapine cannot fail to extend 
itself to the Brigade Seepoys, for though the Men were not to be 
transferred from this abominable Corps to the Brigade, yet the 
latter could not patiently see such Fellows plundering the Country 
without thinking themselves better entitled to so valuable a Pri- 
viledge as being the better Men. And what a School is this for 
Young English Officers ! 

In a Word the Contagion must infallibly seize and run through 
the whole Army unless a Speedy Check be put to it. 



I do not approve of the second Regulation ; I only propose it lest 
the first should be objected to and because we have so large an 
Establishment already and what (it will be said) shall we do with sofi 
many Men bred up to Rapine and let loose in the Country without 
a Livelihood ? they will be worse than Tygers, and what Employ 
shall be given to the Officers of this Corps ? I know not. It may 
be best to provide against the first Evil by letting them drop off, 
and to stop recruiting. 'D?e last is best prevented by sending no 
more Cadets to Bengal till they are wanted. ' 

16. That whjitever sorts of Rupees shall be paid by the 
Zemidar or Farmer for the Malguzzarree, shall be sent in kind 
to the Treasury, and credit given them according to the usual 
Zemidarree Rates ; and that they sh^l be issued from the 
Treasury at the Bazar or fixed Exchange. 

17. That the Touzee or Book of daily Receipts shall be 
closed at the end of every Month and a copy thereof be 
immediately transmitted to the Presidency, as well as to the 
Board of Revenue. . . ^ 

This will show what Farmers are punctual or deficient in their 
payments and will serve also to confine the Collector a little to 
his Duty. 

18. That the Collector shall preside in Person in the Ad- 
ministration of Justice, taking to his Assistance the Zemidar 
or Dewan, with other competent Judges ; and that no punish- 
ment shall be inflicted but by his Order, and in his Presence. 

19. That all Fines and Penalties (Gunnegarries) be registered 
and brought to the account of the Sircar, but that an appeal 
be allowed to the Presidency for all Fines exceeding 500 rupees. 

The Company have ordered that all Fines shall be abolished. 
This, I apprehend, cannot be done. Men of a certain Rank cannot 
be punished with Stripes. The Disgrace in many Instances would 
be as bad as De^^i, and affect all the Connections, Relations, and 
Cast of the Crimmals. 

No Crimes ought to pass with Impunity. How then are such 
offenders to be punished but by Fines ? Under the proposed 
Restriction they will not be oppressive. 

20. That any person convicted of having received money 
either for obstructing or facilitating the access to Justice shall 
be severely and exemplarily punished. 

This will not abolish the Practice, but it will lessen it. 

21. That a record shall be kept of all criminal Proceedings, 
with the decisions of the Collector thereon, and a Copy trans- 
mitted Monthly to the Sudder Cucherry, which should be 
removed to the Presidency. 

22. That all accusations of Fornication or Adultery and all 
offences committed against the Laws of the Casts shall be 


referred to the examination and judgement of the heads of 
^he Cast to which the offender belongs ; but the decision of 
the Cast shall not be carried into execution until confirmed 
by the Collector. 

23. That all disputes between Gentoos respecting inheri- 
tance .or other matters depending on the particular laws or 
usages of the Cast.<i, be referred to'lhe heads of the Casts, or 
Arbitrators chosen from the Casts, and their decree to be final. 

24. That all disputes between Mussulmen coticerning inheri- 
tance or other matters for which provision is made by the 
Mahometan law shall be referred to arbitrators chosen from 
the Mussulmen, over whom the Cauzee shall always preside, 
and their decrees shall be final. 

25. That all disputes of property for sums not exceeding 
10 Rupees shall be decided by the Farmer of the district to 
which the parties belong, and his decree shall be final. 

26. That all disputes for property for sums above 10 Rupees 
and not exceeding 500 shall' be decided by the Collector 
assisted by the Zemidar or Dewan, and their decree shall be 

27. That all disputes of property for sums exceeding 500 
Rupees shall be decided by the Collector assisted by the 
Zemidar or Dewan, but that an appeal may lie from his 
decision to the President and Council, the costs of such (i. e. 
the maintenance of witnesses and travelling charges of the 
parties) to be borne by the Party against whom the Cause shall 
be finally decreed. 

28. That all appeals shall be made within 10 days of the 
decree and reported by the Collector within 10 days after their 
delivery, and that occasional Committees of the Board shall 
be appointed to hear and determine them. r| 

29. That all Zemidarree Chokeys shall be abolished, and no 
chokeys allowed but such as are immediately dependent on 
the Government under the {a) Putchuttera, (b) Bucshbunder, 
and (c) Shahbunder. That th^ Rates of Duties shall be pro- 
portioned to the distances of their Destination but fixed, that 
they shall be levied only at one place and the boats pass unmo- 
lested on producirkg their rowannas or certificates. 

a, b, c. These are the names of the Officers of Customs at 
Moorshidabad, Hougly, Dacca. 

The Zemidaree Chokeys form a part of the Farms and the 
Farmers extort what they can get from the passengers. It is one 
of the greatest oppressions in the Country and the greatest ob- 
struction to Trade. But if it is to be removed previous notice 
should be given that the Farmers may make due allowances for it 
in their proposals for the Farms. 

1626.9 ^ 


No. 3. Summary of the Resolutions for the Settlement of 

the Lands. ^ 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 2, Range 67, vol. 54, p. 251. 

' May 14, 1772. 

1. Farms to be let on leases for 5 years. o 

2. Farms not to exceecf the value of one lack. 

3. A Committee of Circuit to be appointed. 

4. To consist of Warren Hastings, President. 

S. Middleton. 
P. M. Dacres. 
James Lawrell. ^ 
John Graham. 

5. Hougly, Hedgelee, the Calcutta pergunnahs, Burdwan, 
Midnapore, Birbhum, Bissenpore, and Patcheat to be settled 
by the rest of the Revenue Board ; viz. Messrs. Aldersey, 
Lane, Barwell, Harris, Go/)dwjn, and Reed. 

v>6. Supervisors to be henceforth known as Collectors. 

7. A Dewan to be appointed who shall be joined with the 

8. A public seal of the Company to be used for every 

^^9. Sepoys not to be employed in the Collections except in 
urgent cases and by warrant under the public seal. 

10. The rents of the ryots to be fixed and not exceeded on 
pain of the forfeiture of the farmer's lease. 

11. The farmers' rents also to be fixed according to the 
rent-roll of the lease. 

- ' 12. No Matouts (additional cesses) to be permitted. The 
existing ones to be scrutinised by the Collectors and abolished 
if pernicious. 

13. Nuzzars and Salamies (gifts) at first interviews to be 

14. The old farmers to settle the rents in the presence of the 
new farmer, who is to be responsible for any outstanding 

15. A Mohir (accountant) to be appointed to every Farm to 
note receipt of rents and send monthly accounts to the Col- 
lector at the Sudder Cutcherry. 

viG. Collectors are forbidden to purchase grain on pain of 

17. No Peshcar, banyan, or other servant of a Collector is to 
farm any lands. 

'^iS. The Committee are to search out means to obviate 
usury. Collectors and banyans forbidden to lend money ; 


but farmer may lend advance, known as Tuccabee, to the 

19. Kists (rents) are to be payable at the usual periods of 

20. That the Committee may arrange for the safeguarding* 
of the .district, the Collector is to prepare an account of the 
Cjiakeran Lands (assigned lands f of support of land-servants 
zemindars &c.). 

'21. All Zemindari chokeys to be abolished except those that 
' immediately depend on the Government 

22. Board of Revenue to issue orders to publish and adver- 
tise these changes. • 

23. Collectors to prepare the rent-roll of each farm arranged 
in pergunnahs with the charges of collection. 

24. Dacca district to receive special treatment by the Com- 
mittee on account of its great size. 

• • • 

No. 4. Obstacles to a true Assessment ef Valms. 

Letter of Mr. Lushington, in charge of the Hugli District, to Alexander, 
• Chief of the Council of Revenue at Murshidabad. 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 2 (June i, 1772), Range 67, 

vol. 54. 

December 31, 1771. 

Last year I recommended, and you Gentlemen ordered, 
a measurement of a part of the Lands under my charge. 
I was sanguine in my hopes that I should not only acquire 
a true account of the cultivation but of every local peculiarity 
which could contribute to give a full and particular knowledge 
of the state of the country. 

But I soon experienced that the intereg: of individuals 
and the facility of gratifying it with little risk of detection 
rendered it impossible to succeed. The public and allowed 
advantages of the person invested with the charge bear no 
proportion to the illicit ones which he may obtain without 
much fear of discovery. The gratification of his own avarice 
concurring with the interest of the man whose lands are to be 
measured, a corrupt bargain is soon struck and as securely 
maintained in secrecy by a reciprocal interest in the parties. 
To increase the appointments of those who are to be employed 
in this service so as to give reason to expect that the fear of 
forfeiting would restrain them from transgressions, would 
make it so expensive to effect a complete measurement that 
the advantage to be reaped would hardly compensate, espe- 
cially if it be considered that by farming out. these lands, 2Ji 




immediate considerabk increase will accrue and a very few 
years ascertain their true value to the Government. In a wel^ 
regulated farm, the interest of one individual is set against 
that of another. It becomes the business of all to enquire into 
and learn the state of the lands which they propose to rent. 
They are able to carry on their scrutinies free from suspicion, 
because their design of bemg a candidate. for farming them is 
known to themselves only. 

The present possessor of a farm will be cautious himself, and 
direct those under him to be cautious likewise, of giving 
opportunities for discovering the advantages they reap. But 
private interest will devise such unsus^pected ways of gaining 
knowledge useful to itself, that the utmost degree of caution 
will not be able to defeat them. [He therefore recommends 

The Taluckdars of Hugli having been hitherto exempted 
from all local investigatioi) into the value of their lands, the 
scrutiny made by me at the end of last year for regulating the 
new Settlement was deemed a hardship. They flattered 
themselves that a long-established custom would have availed 
them equally with a positive right, and that if an increase of 
revenue was to be drawn from their districts, the precedent of 
former times would have been followed, and a Nuzzerana upon 
computation what their taluck could afford have been de- 
manded instead of a close scrutiny or measurement of their 
lands. It must be allowed that such an argument would give 
just grounds to suspect that by compounding with the Govern- 
ment for a Nuzzerana, they hoped to reserve to themselves 
a larger proportion of the next revenue than would be con- 
tinued to them if the full capacity of the lands were known. 

Although iroi(i the grants of the Talucks it appears that the 
Government has not by any clause relinquished its original 
right to an exclusive possession of the Taluck lands, and that 
it can exert this right with the same justice towards the 
Taluckdars that it has done towards the Zemindars, by assum- 
ing the local management of the lands, and arbitrarily fixing 
the proportion of the revenue that shall be left to them ; yet 
it seems to me that the Taluck being originally granted to 
gratify favourites, or to support fallen families, and that the 
circumstances under which the lands were given, continuing 
to operate to the advantage of the holders, by exempting 
them from local investigation or any extraordinary taxation 
by Government, except where the general defence of the 
country seemed particularly concerned (as in the article of 
chout levied for the protection of it against the Marathas). 


After a length of time an idea was entertained that the profits 
^arising from the possession of Talucks was a species of pro- 
perty that people might confide in. Individuals therefore 
bought and sold Talucks. But to render the sale good, the 
sanction of Government was necessary, which being usually* 
obtairij^ed without much difficulty, was no great impediment to 
such transactions., A despotic dl)vernment having power 
assumes a right to pursue its own interest, without regard to 
custom or privileges enjoyed under a formes ruler. A just 
apprehension therefore that the Talucks would be resumed 
some time or other, or a tribute (or Nuzzarana) exacted for 
them, lessened the value of this species of property, which 
depended upon the pleasure of the present Administration, and 
every purchaser accordingly provided by the price he gave 
against such unfavourable events. 

They observe further that though various articles of taxa- 
tion have been imposed upon them and have considerably 
au*gmented their original pa/ments to Government, yet no 
attempt was ever made to ascertain the full value of the 
falucks either by scrutiny or measurement. As they have no 
positive right to urge, they can only apply themselves to your 
bounty for the continuance of an indulgence they have uninter- 
ruptedly enjoyed up to this time. 

Farmers who have acquitted their engagements by a punc- 
tual discharge of their payments as they became due are 
entitled to a preference when their districts are to be farmed 
again, provided they are willing to pay as much as others offer. 
A dispossession of them would be productive of inconvenience 
and perhaps hardship to the ryot, to whom every change of 
authority is in a greater or less degree the source of expence 
and trouble. ... I have permitted them to gemain in charge 
of their lands, that in this critical season of tne year they may 
take the necessary measures for preserving and extending the 
cultivation of them. And induced by the reasons before 
assigned, I have pledged assurances to them that if the final 
settlement of the lands lie with me, they shall be confirmed in 
their farms. 


No. 5. Midnapore Settlement, 
Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 3. 

October 30, 1772. 

It is agreed to reject the proposals [for farming] and to give 
the preference to Zemindars and Taluckdars. 

As Midnapore is one of the frontier provinces of Bengal it 



becomes particularly necessary to endeavour by every indul- 
gence to conciliate and preserve the goodwill of the inhabi* 
tants, who might otherwise be tempted to desert to their 
neighbours the Marattas in time of peace, or join them in case 
of disturbance. Were the lands to be let to strangers and the 
numerous body of Zemindars and Taluckdars left icj.le and 
without an interest in t\tv province, it is,i natural to suppose 
that the neighbouring powers would not omit so favourable an 
opportunity of* sowing among them the seeds of discontent, 
and weakening their attachment to the Company, whereas by 
maintaining them in their present possessions we shall con- 
ciliate and secure their affections and engage them, from 
motives of gratitude and interest, to unite in opposing any 
attempts upon their borders ; besides the claim of hereditary 
right which the landholders of Midnapore have in common 
with those in the other parts of Bengal, the constant fidelity 
and obedience they have shown to the Company since the 
cession of that province form's a strong plea in their favour 
and sways the Board greatly on this occasion. They are 
happy therefore to observe that the advantage of the Com- 
pany coincides with that of the hereditary proprietors. 

... it is our general wish the hereditary possessors should be 
the farmers of the lands, if it can be effected with security to 
the revenue and safety to the Government. 

[The two following documents deal with the Settlement of 
the Province of Bihar.] 

No. 6. Duration of leases in Bihar. 

Bengal Revenue Consultations, i. Range 49, vol. 38, p. 922. Extract from 
a Af" iute by G. Vansittart, Chief of Patna. 

March 12, 1773. 

. . . The longer the period of the lease, the more effectual 
measures it is in the power of the farmer to take for the encour- 
agement of the new ryotts, and the more will a man of property 
be disposed to submit to a present expence for the sake of 
future improvements. The advantages of this plan are indeed 
allowed, if it could take place throughout the Province. The 
chief apprehension is that in case of a partial establishment 
it would be a means of depopulating the neighbouring per- 
gunnas. It might be made a clause of the farmer's agreement 
that he should not offer any particular indulgences to inveigle 
the ryotts from other pergunnas of the Province, but in case 
of any coming to him, allow them only the same terms as the 



former ryotts of his lands. I scarcely however look upon such 
^ precaution to be necessary. Ryots are seldom disposed to 
niesert their antient habitations unless they are actually 
oppressed, and in this case if they do not find protection with 
other farmers they will seek it with the Jaghiredars &c. or in* 
the districts of the Nabob Suja ul Dowla and Rajah Chyte 
Sing. 'All therefore who might be^ept from the Jaghiredars 
or foreign districts would be a profit to the Government, all 
who might be brought from the Jaghiredars or foreign districts 
would be a further profit. And it is moreover to be considered 
that the farmer's advantages would not arise solely from the 
acquisition of the new^inhabitants but by the employment of 
those who are already on the spot in the cultivation of more 
valuable articles. I have here argued on a supposition of the 
plan taking place in a particular district only, but I believe if 
it meets with your approbation it will soon be established in 
almost every part of the Bahar Province. . . . 

fThe following advertisement w^^ resolved upon, p. 924.] 
' That the lease is to continue during the life of the farmer, 
who will enjoy quiet possession of the lands with every 
improvement he may make on them, on his paying the full 
amount of his engagements to Government. 

No. 7. Report of Revenue plans in Bihar. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii. 

November 10, 1773. 

The Chief and Council of Patna in their letters of December 
17, 1772, and February 22, 1773, strongly recommend that 
where responsible people can be found the leases in that Pro- 
vince should be extended for the life of the ^Armer, proposing 
that a moderate annual increase should be taken till the 
Revenue arose to the highest rate which the farm had yielded 
in any year since the Company's acquisition of the Dewanni, 
and then remain fixed. We approved of the plan and in 
consequence gave public notice that we would receive pro- 
posals either from the present farmers for a continuation of 
their leases or fr^m new ones to receive poss'fession at the 
expiration of the engagements already subsisting. The prin- 
cipal advantages to be expected from this plan in Bahar 
Province are, that the farmers being obliged by their own 
interest to treat their ryots with lenity might procure a supply 
of inhabitants from the neighbouring districts of the Nabob 
Shuja ul Dowla and Rajah Cheit Sing, and that they might be 
induced to employ their own money for the improvement of 



the lands and the culture of the most valuable articles, which 
are at first attended with considerable expence, though thev 
afterwards yield the greatest profit. A few of the old farmers 
(to the amount of about four lacks of rupees) have extended 
,,their leases on these terms, but they have not yet generally 
agreed to it nor have we received any new offers. 

No. 9. Plan of a new Settlement^ ^775- 

Original Minutes of the Governor-General and Council of Fort William on 
the Revenues of Bengal, by P. Francis, 1782. India Office Library 
Catalogue, p. 165. 

April 22, 1775. ^ 

Minute of Messrs. Hastings and Banvell. 

From the Company's acquisition of the Dewanni, it has been 
customary to make an annual settlement of the revenue of the 
several districts of Bengal. The principal Zemindars and all 
the chief people of the coUntr'y assembled at the City at the 
holding of the Poonah, in the months of April and May. 

A Settlement was then concluded, in some places wit.h 
the Zemindars themselves, in others with persons who were 
appointed to the charge of the Collections, under the name of 
Aumils. The Aumils having each executed an agreement to 
pay a certain sum of money into the Treasury of Moorsheda- 
bad according to the stated periods specified in the Kistbundee, 
were sent'into the country to form the Mofussil settlement and 
carry on the collections as they judged most expedient for 
realizing the revenue for which they had engaged. 

[Amils discontinued in 1770. Collectors settle the revenue 
in 1770 and 1771, aided by Murshidabad.] 

When the management of the revenues was the subject of 
deliberation of tne Board, in 1772, it was unanimously agreed 
that the system of an annual settlement was not calculated 
for the prosperity of the country and the yearly attendance of 
the Zemindars at the city was deemed an unnecessary expense,- 
which ultimately fell on the Company. A man of little or no 
property being appointed an Aumil executed an engagement 
to pay 15 or 20 lacks of rupees, was invested ivith full authority 
for collecting, and had no interest in the welfare of the district 
any longer than for the single year of his appointment. The 
settlements which were made with the Zemindars themselves 
were in like manner for one year only. If the lands went to 
decay, the next year's revenue was lessened, and if they were 
improved it was proportionately augmented. Arguments are 
not necessary to prove that such a system would naturally 


produce oppression, and be a check to the most valuable 
articles of husbandry ; it was resolved to let out the country 
on leases of 5 years, that the farmers might be induced by 
motives of self-interest to attend to its improvement. . . . The 
ascertaining of the value of the several districts has been sufh-' 
ciently accomplished, but we will not say the desired improve- 
ment has in general taken place ;#it has been obstructed by 
a circumstance wfiich could not be foreseen, we mean the 
farmers having engaged for higher revenues tj;ian the districts 
could afford. 

The following is the plan which we have recommended to be 
adopted at the expiration of the present leases : 

1. That all new taxes, which have been imposed upon the 
ryots in any part of the country since the commencement of 
the Bengal year 1172 [1764-5], being the year in which the 
Company obtained the Dewanny, be entirely abolished. 

N.B. — ^Whenever any occasion has arisen or any pretence been 
"found to lay a new tax upon fhe r^ots, it has been the custom of 
the Zemindar and Aumil to continue to collect it whether the 
occasion has remained or not. By this means their rents have 
• been constantly increasing. . . . The amount of the taxes imposed 
since the imposition of the Dewanny will hardly be less than 15 
lack of rupees. . . . 

This accumulation of taxes was practised to a still greater degree 
in the loth or 15th years preceding the Company's acquiring the 
Dewanny than it has since. . . . 

2. That the 24 Perganas be sold as Zemindaris by public 
auction, in lots not exceeding a jumma or rent roll of 20,000 or 
30,000 r. p. a. 

N.B. — The sale would raise a large sum of money, and there is 
no doubt that the lands would be greatly improved in the hands 
of Zemindars on the permanent footing wbkh we have recom- 
mended. . . . We would recommend too mat Europeans be 
allowed to be purchasers, provided they can be made amenable to 
the Revenue Courts and subject to the same regulations as the 
natives . . . being of a more enterprising spirit. . . . They would in 
time become an addition of strength to the British Empire in 
India, [i 772. The English were then only amenable to the Mayor's 
Court and Courts of Sessions : ' this defect in the authority of 
Government has been effectually removed by the institution of the 
Supreme Court?*] 

3. That the revenue to be paid by the purchasers be settled 
at the medium of what was actually collected in the 3 pre- 
ceding years, with an allowance of 15% deducted for the 
charges of Collection and their profits. 

N.B. — i. e. 5 % charges, 10 % Zemindars' profits. 

Aumeens sent into the perganas immediately on the expiration 



of the present leases, would probably ascertain the collection with- 
out difficulty, as there would be no one interested to prevent it. 

4. That the revenue do remain fixed at this rate during the 
life of the purchaser. That the Government be at liberty to 
sell the Zemindari if a Zemindar be deficient in his payment, 

N.B. — The annual increase would put the Zemindar to difficul- 
ties, which would eventuC ly produce oppression and prevent 
improvement, and deductions would become necessary, as at pre- 
sent in unfavourable seasons. If the revenue be fixed the profits 
of one year will' compensate the losses of another ; and should the 
Zemindar, through his own misconduct, be at any time deficient in 
his payment, a purchaser would never be wanting to take the 
Zemindari on terms which would secure t^e Government its just 

5. That, on the death of any purchaser, the Zemindari shall 
devolve to his heirs. That it shall then be at the option of the 
Government to continue it fixed to him at the same rate as 
was paid by the purchaser, or to make a new Hustabood of it, 
and settle the rent on the medium of the actual collection of 
the 3 preceding years, in the manner proposed in the third 
article, with this proviso, however, that whatever may be the,. 
Hustabood no greater increase shall be levied than 10 % on 
the preceding lease. That the expense of the Hustabood be 
defrayed half by the Government and half by the Zemindar. 
If the new Zemindar agrees to an increase of 10 % a Hustabood 
will be unnecessary : this however should not be demanded 
unless the preceding Zemindar had possessed the estate at 
least 10 years. The increase proposed is very moderate, but 
we do not think it could be rendered greater consistently with 
the value which we wish to be set upon landed property : for 
upon this we deem the whole success of our plans to depend. 

It cannot we tf",ink be reckoned an injustice that the suc- 
cessor should at any rate pay the same revenues as his prede- 
cessor. If the Zemindari is not worth holding on these terms, 
he will be at liberty to sell or relinquish it. It is a necessary 
regulation lest the successor should insist upon a Hustabood 
and, by influence and bribery, get the value of it reported 
much lower than the truth, and so defraud the Government. . . . 
This increase of 10% should be demanded ir^each succession 
if the state of improvement will admit of it. 

6. That should the new Zemindar refuse to hold the Zemin- 
dari at the same rate as was paid by his predecessor, he shall 
either sell it to some other persons, who will be answerable for 
the revenue, or else it shall be forfeited as an escheat to the 

7. That should the new Zemindar refuse to hold it on the 



terms of a Hustabood as proposed in the 5th article, he shall 
ireceive an allowance of 10 % on the preceding settlement and 
the Government shall be at liberty to farm it out on the best 
terms procurable. 

N.B. — The Aumeen may have overvalued the Zemindari. This 

provision is to secure the Zemindar from the consequent loss, but 

is no't good policy for the Govemmf,:fit. , 

8. That should the new Zemindar be a minor and guardians 
have not been appointed by the father, the Government should 
take the Zemindari under its own charge, till he attains the 
age of 18 years, and be at liberty to farm it out on the best 
terms procurable, setting apart for him an allowance of 10 %. 

N.B. — This is to secure the Zemindar against misconduct of his 

9. That as soon as he attains the age of 18 years, the farm 
should be offered to him on the terms proposed in the 5th 
article ; and if he refuse to hqld i^ on any of those terms, the 
Government shall be at liberty to farm it out as in the 7th 

• N.B. — The reason is that it may have deteriorated during the 

10. That all the other districts of Bengal be farmed out on 
leases for life, or for two joint lives, to such responsible people 
as shall offer the most advantageous terms, allowing a prefer- 
ence to the Zemindars provided they have attained the age of 
18 years, if their 'offers are equal or nearly equal to those of 
others, or if they are equal to what the Council shall judge to 
be the real value of the lands. 

N.B. — This is liable to misrepresentation as permitting favouri- 
tism on the part of the Council, but is necessary to prevent over- 
rating as in 1772. ^ 

11. That it be expressly stipulated that no attention shall 
be paid to any proposals for an annual increase ; it being 
meant that the same revenue shall be paid for the first year as 
for the subsequent years ; »that no increase be levied or 
deduction allowed on any account or pretence whatever. 

N.B. — If the attention of Government be 4rawn aside by 
allurements held out of future increases, the revenue will be over- 
rated. Many persons may be found who will not scruple to 
promise more than they are able to perform if by that means they 
can obtain their present view. 

12. That it be observed as an invariable rule that if any 
Zemindar fails in his engagements his Zemindari or such part 
of it as may be necessary to pay the deficiency shall be pub- 
licly sold. The purchaser to hold it either on the terms of a 



Hustabood, as proposed in the 3rd article ; or according to the 
preceding settlement, as may be specified in the advertisement.^ 
N.B. — Without this article we should not think a settlement 
with the Zemindars advisable, especially with the great Zemindars. 
^ They are for the most part ignorant of or inattentive to business, 
and trust to their servants, who defraud or impose upon them. 
Besides it has been so long the custom of Bengal to raise the rents to 
the full value of the lunds, tllit very few of thern have any desire for 
their improvement. . . . 

The fear of the sale of their lands is the only probable instrument 
of keeping them to their engagements [or of reimbursing Govern- 

13. That the several regulations proposed in the 4th, 5th, 
6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th articles relative to the purchasers in the 
Calcutta Perganas shall equally extend to the purchasers in 
the other districts and to the present Zemindars. 

14. That wherever the Zemindar does not farm his own 
Zemindari his allowance be fixed at 10% on the amount of the 
revenue settled by the Govornment. 

N.B. — This is in accordance with the ancient custom called 
Malekana or the Proprietor's right. 

15. That each Zemindar or Farmer, where the Farmer has 
possession, be authorized to exercise a Fouzdary Jurisdiction, 
and be made answerable for murders and robberies committed 
in his district, agreeable to the old constitution of the Empire. 

N.B. — The Fouzdary Jurisdiction, according to the constitution 
of the Empire, is inherent in the Zemindar, but it will be dangerous 
to entrust the exercise of it to any other than'^the person who has 
the charge of the Collections, nor would it prove effectual in any 
other hands. Continual jealousies and contentions would be 
excited between the Farmer and the Fouzdar. The Farmer would 
suffer by the oppression of his ryots, if the latter has a superior 
influence, or he would make use of such a plea to obtain remission of 
his rents and thl^^j^Fouzdar would be unable to act if the Farmer's 
influence prevailed, as the ryots would always fly to him for pro- 
tection. Some regulation of this kind is necessary for the peace of 
the country. . . . 

16. That for the Salt Contrafts, a preference be allowed to 
the Farmer, and that in future it may be regulated that the 
Molungis or Salt-boilers shall not be obliged to work whether 
they choose it'or not, but only that if they dc work, it shall be 
for the Contractor, and that their salt shall be delivered to him ; 
the prices to be settled by mutual agreement. 

N.B. — We propose that the Zemindar or Land-Farmer should 
also be the contractor, because he would be able to execute that 
business with greater advantage than another. An order restrict- 
ing the Molungis to the service of the contractor cannot be oppres- 
sive, if they are at the same time allowed to quit that business 
altogether, in case they cannot settle with the contractor to their 



own satisfaction for the price and condition of their labour. Such 
a permission would put them on a happier footing than they have 
ever yet enjoyed. 

That the Government should continue to draw a revenue from 
the article of salt appears highly proper and equitable ; we kn6w 
not any more equal or equitable mode of taxation. Suppose tWfe 
inhabitants are one with another to expend a seer of salt per 
moirth (which is a large allowance), r,.^d supppse the Government to 
draw from it a re^. of one rupee p. maund, which would amount 
to 20 lacs ; the charge to each person would be little more than 
a fourth part of a rupee in a year, so mere a irifle that it could 
scarcely be felt : we suppose the utmost. The real increase of 
price since the year 1772, when the Government took the salt 
manufacture into their own hands, has not been a ^ r. p. maund. 

17. That these regulations or such part of them as shall be 
approved, and any others which the Hon. Court of Directors 
shall think fit to add to them, be passed into fixed law by their 
express command. That it shall not be in the power of the 
Government and Council to change or deviate from them on 
any occasion or for any pretence whatever ; and that copies 
thereof in the English, the Persian, and the Bengali languages, 

affixed to all the Cucherries of the provinces, with the same 
authority declared for their establishment and duration. 

N.B. — The continual variations on the mode of collecting the 
revenue and the continual usurpations on the right of the people, 
which have been produced by the remissness or the rapacity of the 
Mogul Government, and in the English by the desire of acquiring 
a reputation from a sudden increase of the collections without 
a sufficient attention to the remote consequences, have fixed in the 
ryots so rooted a distrust of the ordinances of Government that no 
assurances however strong will persuade them that laws, which 
have no apparent object but the ease of the people and the security 
of property, can be of long duration, unless confirmed by a stronger 
pledge than the resolution of a fluctuating administration. Even 
with the Hon., Court of Directors time will be ^quired to reconcile 
their belief to so extraordinary a revolution m the principles of 
this Government. . . . 

Both by the Mahomedan and Gentoo laws inheritance 
should be divided amongst th'i sons in equal proportions ; yet 
it has been established by custom that the large Zemindaris 
shall not be divided, but be possessed entire by4;he eldest son, 
who is to support his younger brothers : on the contrary it is 
usual for the small Zemindaris to be divided amongst all the 
sons, but in many parts of the country the custom prevails 
that the eldest should have something more than the others. 

The reverse of these customs we think would be for the 
interest of the Government : we mean that a large Zemindari 
should be divided, and the small ones should be preserved 



. . . With respect to the mode of managing the collection of 
the revenue and the administration of justice none occur to us - 
so good as the system which is already established of the Pro-" 
vincial Councils. We are under some apprehensions, however, 
hst the members of these should divide into parties. ... It is 
the natural consequence of the dissensions in the superior 
Council : and our cons tanl -care will be required to prevent it. 

Warren Hastings. 
Richard Barwell. 

[A minute of January 22, 1776, gives Philip Francis's alterna- 
tive plan, which aims at the welfare of ^the native and a per- 
manent Settlement making the land over to the Zemindars, 
&c., for good with full right of ownership.] 




Discredited experiments — Supreme Board created, 1772 — Khalsa brought 
to Calcutta — Collectors checked by Diwans — Temporary Provincial 
Councils, 1774 — Permanent arrangement, 1781. 

The Settlement of the Lands was made primarily for purposes 
of revenue and as an essential preliminary to the Collections, 
but its prime interest for the historian is rather social than 
fiscal. The measures by which the Revenue executive was 
revised had on the other hand the financial welfare of the 
Company as their first object and may be examined apart for 
the sake of greater clearness. 

The transitional character of the period 1765 to 1772 is 
perhaps more marked in the sphere of Finance than in any 
other. Under the Mogul Government it was the main func- 
tion of the Diwan to collect the revenues, and his chief agent 
was the Royroyafi, or head of the Khalsa, i.e. the Treasury 
at Murshidabad. To this office belonged the recording of 
the engagements entered into by the Zemindars, Talukdars, 
&c., at the Pooniah or annual Settlement, and to it all subor- 
dinate officials^, Diwans, Amils, Shicdars, Jpz:c. sent in their 
accounts. In 1765 English supervision first began to be 
exercised over the operations of the Khalsa by Francis Sykes, 
the Resident at the Durbar, but only indirectly and through 
the medium of Mohamed Reza Khan, who united in his person 
the offices of Deputy Nizam and Diwan, formerly distinct. 
In 1769 the appointment of supervisors extended an authority 
similar to the Resident's into all the districts, and in June 1770 
the Court of Directors' orders of June 30, 1769, were executed, 
which created Boards of Control of the Revenue at Murshid- 
abad and Patna.^ These Boards, like the individuals who 

1 Home Miscellaneous, 205, Summary of Proceedings of Bengal Govern- 



preceded them, had cognizance of judicial as well as revenue 
causes, inasmuch as they replaced the original Diwani author 
rity at those stations. In the districts the supervisors con- 
tinued to act, and both they and the two Boards of Control 
developed a dangerous independence of the Calcutta Govern- 
ment. To obviate 'this e\AA the Council at .Calcutta on April i, 
1771, formed itself into a Committee of Revenue ^ and ordered 
the provincial bodies to submit their correspondence and 
accounts to it. These revealed grave need for reform. Great 
arrears of revenue were shown to be (^ue from most of the 
districts and complaints of extortion and injustice on the part 
of native officials or supervisors' servants abounded. In 
Burdwan, Midnapore, and Chittagong alone the proper amount 
of the taxes was forthcoming, and no grievances appeared 
which were not due to natural causes. There the lands had 
been rented for periods of three years, and the comparative 
security of tenure proved such an encouragement to the 
farmers that it was extended to five years. ^ 

When in the spring of 1772 Hastings took up the work of 
the Diwani, he determined to adopt this system of five-year 
leases. A supreme Revenue authority was created at Cal- 
cutta, to consist of the whole Council sitting as a Board 
of Revenue.^ The Boards of Control at Murshidabad and 
Patna came to an end,* and the new Settlement Regulations 
were issued to reorganize the Revenue system throughout the 

Hitherto, of tne two alternative methods of collection, 
native and English, neither had proved satisfactory ; it 
remained for Hastings to find the just mean between a purely 
native and an English executive. Obviously Englishmen 
could not do the actual gathering in of taxes from the renters, 
a force of native subordinates must be ma-'ntained ; but it 

1 Calcutta Committee of Revenue Proceedings, i, Range 67, vol. 53. 

* Bengal Letters, vol. ix, November 15, 177 1. 
Ibid., vol. xi, p. 80. 

Note. — This supreme Board of Revenue must be carefully distin- 
guished from its predecessor, the Calcutta Committee of Revenue, now 

■* Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, i, Range 67, vol. 53, 
p. 154. 

* Committee of Circuit, p. 277. 


was equally clear that the management in each District must 
#3e in English hands, if the Diwani was to be a reality ; the 
vexed question was how to keep a check on these isolated 
English overseers. Hastings had no reform more at heart 
than their entire removal and the concentration of all autho- 
rity at the new capital, but that could onl^'' be done when the 
condition of the lands should have been accurajely ascertained 
and the English management in the realm of finance estab- 
lished on fixed lines ; meanwhile the collectors must remain 
in the Districts. He ^devised a means of checking them by 
coupling with each Englishman a native Naib Diwan, to act 
under him as head of the native revenue executive. All 
orders would issue from the collector, signed with the Com- 
pany's seal, and all funds pass through his hands to the Trea- 
sury, but the Diwan would record each measure and register 
all accounts, sending in an independent report to the Khalsa 
n9w seated at Calcutta. Thus as before 1772, in each District 
a pair of revenue chiefs was set up, one native and one English, 
to carry on the local work of the collections, but the new 
system differed essentially from that of the supervisorships, 
for the two sets of officials were now independent of one 
another and both uiider the control of the Calcutta Supreme 
Board of Revenue, and very definite rules for their mutual 
conduct and procedure were issued. While there could be 
no clash of authority between the two, each would serve as 
a check upon thq other As a further safeg i^rd no collector 
was allowed to hold office longer than two successive years.^ 

At Calcutta the Council sat in its new capacity as a Board^^of 
Revenue twice a week, ' for issuing the necessary orders to the 
collectors, inspecting, auditing and passing their accounts *, &c. 
Every week a fresh member of the Council took his turn as 
auditor of the reverfue and reported on the collectors* accounts ; 
present with him before the Board was the Royroyan, so that 
any discrepancy between the native and English reports was 
speedily apparent. 

In January 1773 Hastings speaks with satisfaction of this 

1 Cf. pp. 268, 274. 

* Bengal Letters, vol. xi, March 25, 1773. 

1526.9 TT 



first stage of revenue reform : ' I have hitherto every reason 
to be pleased with the change. Calcutta is now the capital o^ 
Bengal and every office and trust of the Province issues from 
it. The business [is] in as good a train as could possibly be 
expected so soon after so great a revolution, this department 
[revenue] as regular and ks much on train, as if it had existed 
since the days of Job Charnock.' But by the end of the year 
he found the revenue returns were disappointing, and while 
defending the reforms admitted * it will require a long and 
intricate train of reasoning to prove that the future increase 
of national wealth, of Revenue and Trade, were really pro- 
duced by them '. 

Before receiving Hastings's report, however, the Court of 
Directors had dispatched new orders on April 7, 1773, by the 
Harcourt. They were disappointed with the low revenues of 
1770 and 1771, and attributed the blame to the supervisors, 
proposing that they should be withdrawn and local Revenve 
Councils created. It was indeed Hastings's ultimate aim to 
have the whole business conducted by a central authority in 
Calcutta, dealing directly with the landholders and without 
any such intermediaries as the collectors, but the experience 
of 1771 had proved that local councils were also apt to grow 
insubordinate. It was necessary to concert measures which 
should avoid both evils, and many consultations were* held 
before the members of the Council reached an agreement. 
Hastings felt t^J^at, much as he desired it^ the immediate 
removal of the collectors would endanger the revenue and also 
lay too great a strain of additional business on the members of 
the Council. Some local body must, it seemed, be retained in 
the Districts, for * those who have ever shown themselves most 
diligent and knowing in the business of the Revenue were 
unwilling and fearful to undertake the management of it 
(at Calcutta) at such a distance from the Cucherries, until the 
Country was brought into better order '. 

The measures finally adopted were a compromise and an 
admission of the experimental nature of the work. They com- 
prised two distinct Plans, one for immediate operation, but 
confessedly a temporary half -measure ; the other a final and 


permanent system, drawn up in detail but not to be promul- 
♦gated until the country should be ripe for it ; it was in fact 
published in 1781. 

In January 1774 the Temporary Plan, better known as the 
systern of the Provincial Councils, took effect. The collectors 
remained in their Districts, but t iftse were * formed into Six 
Divisions, each comprehending several inferior Districts under 
the directions of a Chief and Council A* Diwan was ap- 
pointed to each Division to keep accounts and records in the 
native tongue and untler him a Naib Diwan to each District 
as before. This differed from the system of 1772 only in 
setting up a Chief and Council to control a group of collectors, 
who were now empowered to appoint their own Naib Diwans. 
There were grave risks of tyranny in this retention of part of 
th6 old order ; it was on this'accftunt plainly declared to be 
only temporary and provisional and introductory to the final 
«ne, into which it was to merge by degrees : * Whenever the 
accounts and arrangements of any one Division shall be so 
regulated and completed as to enable them to bring the con- 
trol down to the Presidency, the Provincial Council shall be 
accordingly withdrawn and either continue to conduct the 
business of the Division at the Presidency or transfer it at once 
to the Committee.' The Committee here spoken of was the 
* Provincial * Council of the Calcutta District, which was from 
the beginning given a different title and status from the rest 
with this view that all might be gradually^bsorbed into it. 
The effect of the final change would be to leave the revenue 
work in the Districts entirely to the native subordinate execu- 
tive, answerable to the Calcutta Committee through the 
channel of the Khalsa, as is slated in the original scheme of 
March 10, 1774 : ' to collect the Revenues in the Districts by 
the agency of dewans, who shall be subject to the orders of 
a Committee or inferior Council of Revenue ; to consist of 
two members of the Board and three Company's servants, to 
meet daily and correspond with the dewans, register their 
accounts in the Khalsa, and hear complaints.* The safeguard 
was added of sending inspectors from time to time to make 
* Bengal Revenue Consultations, Range 49, vol. 45, p. 3655. 

U 2 



a tour of the Districts. The object of this entire series of 
reforms was one and the same: to remove the abuses inevitable( 
when the English revenue official resided in his District. 
Throughout Hastings's anxiety to remove the collections to the 
capital arises from the determination to root out these * heavy 
rulers of the people an(}t- even at the ccst of a temporary 
deficit in his employers' receipts to give the ryot and the 
weaver a chance to thrive. 

The course of these reforms was not smooth ; owing to the 
troubled state of the Council in 1775 the Provincial Councils 
were not properly controlled, and the worst features of what 
was known to be a dubious system got the upper hand. But 
in 1776, when the Aumenee Courts were established, Hastings 
remodelled the Provincial Councils lest the objects of that 
inquiry should be frustrated, Saying : * I will not leave stich 
wretches as Goring, Rosewell, and James Grant in power to 
render my designs abortive. . . . God be praised ! There ar« 
few such in the Service.' 

In 1781 Hastings did at last achieve his revenue work 
and make the final, long-sought correction. The Provincial 
Councils and collectors were withdrawn and the administra- 
tion of the revenue put into the hands of a Committee of four, 
Messrs. Anderson, Shore, Chartres, and Crofts. He writes : 
* They have no fixed salaries and are sworn to receive no 
perquisites. In lieu of both they are to draw a commission of 
I % on the month'y amount of the net collections and double 
on the sums paid immediately in Calcutta. By this plan' we 
hope to bring the whole administration of the revenue to Cal- 
cutta without any intermediate charge or agency.' He hoped 
thus to make great savings to" the Company : ' the increase 
this year will be about 27 lacks and the saving of expenses 12 : 
in all 39 lacks.' " 

Thus through nine years of hard and patient application 
Hastings secured the working out of his solution to the problem 
of waste and oppression in the revenue. The essentially cor- 
rupt office of collector vanished and an orderly system was 
set working, with the supreme power at its centre and natives, 
conversant with local needs and customs, at the extremities. 



No. I. Creation of Calcutta. Committee of Revenue, • 

Letter from the Secretary to the members of the new Committee 
* ^ of Revem.9. ^ 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, i, Range 67 ^ vol. 53, p. 154. 

April I, 1771. * 

The Hon. Pres. and Council have given me orders to inform 
you that in pursuan^ of the Hon. Court of Directors' com- 
mands in their letter to the Commissioners they have been 
pleased to establish a Committee of Revenue. . . . 

The Court of Directors have sent orders to the Councils of 
Revenue at Moorshedabad and Patna, to the Residents at 
Burdwan and Midnapore, to the Collector of the Revenues of 
th« Chittagong districts and to* the Collector of the 24 Per- 
gunnahs to correspond with you in future on every matter 
relative to the Revenue and to obey your directions. . . . 
• The Custom House Master has also received directions to 
obey all your Commands on whatever relates to his depart- 

The Hon. Pres. and Council have taken a resolution that 
for the present your Committee shall be composed of all the 
Members of their^ Board, that no time may be lost ... by 
referring matters to their consideration. 
[The Committee consequently consists of :] 
Messrs. Cartier. 

Floyer. ^ 
Reed. * 
„ Hare. 

No. 2. Bengal Revenue^ Returns, 1770 and 1771. 
Bengal Letters, vol. x, p. 85, Secret Department. 

November 15, I'^yi. * 

Para. 3. The Collections made on the last year's 
Settlement at the City [i. e. Moorshedabad] amounted to 
S. R. 119,29,506, 13, 9, 2, and the Balance incurred to about 
37 lacks. . . . We are apprehensive much the largest part must 
be remitted. A failure in the Collections of so large a Settle- 
ment was naturally to be expected from the ruinous and 
depopulated State of the Country when made, and the Variety 



of Local Accidents it is subject to either from a want of rain 
in some Parts or an excess in others, with the Probability of 
several Districts being inundated, must always occasion some 
Deficiency on the Annual Settlement. . . . 

-Para. 4. Having received since closing the Revenue Pro- 
ceedings, the Settlement for the present year, amounting to 
Nett Revenue S. R< 166,3^ ,147, 12, 4, We^. beg leave to for- 
ward the same as a Paper of the Packet, as likewise a Letter 
from the Muxadr.vad Council containing their Remarks on the 
Settlement of each particular District under the different 
Supervisors. From this Settlement we find an Increase of 
Nine Lack on the preceding one, which we hope will appear to 
you to be a very considerable addition to your Annual Revenue, 
so immediately after a Year which produced such Variety of 
Distress and Calamity to the Inhabitants of these Provinces ; 
and as the Supervisors have by this Time established their 
Authority in their different Departments, and the season is 
favourable to the Crops, we entertain no doubt but the Col- 
lections will be made without incurring any material Balances. 
[Burdwan, Midnapore and Chittagong Revenue, 1771, p. 90.] ^ 

Para. 7. The Collections in the Province of Burdwan have 
been made without any balances outstanding. . . . The three 
years lease entered into with the farmers by Mr. Becher . . . 
being expired, we thought proper to give directions to our 
Resident there to put the lands up to sale in a lease of five 
years, being of opinion that when the true value of the lands is 
nearly ascertained the most probable means of their further 
improvement must depend on long leases and such as make it 
the Interest of the Farmer to encourage the Industry of his 
Ryots and extend and improve the Cultivation of the lands. 
This measure f roij^^ your repeated letters we have the pleasure 
to find to be entirely conformable to your Sentiments. But 
from the decayed condition of many of the Pergunnas of this 
Province by the Loss of the Inhabitants and the Neglect of 
Cultivation their Value was so ^considerably reduced that no 
Farmers would take them on the Terms they were before held 
on. And a deduction therefore in the Rents of these Per- 
gunnas the Resident has been obliged to allow in the lease of 
those lands, though an increase has been added on the more 
flourishing Pergunnas to the Southwards. 

With equal Success have the Collections of Midnapore Pro- 
vince been made as those of Burdwan without any Balances 
remaining. . . . 

A Balance of S. R. 10,233 arises on the Bundabust or Settle- 
ment of Chittagong Province, part of which will be recovered. 


No. 3. Regulations for the Khalsa. 
^ Committee of Circuit, p. 277. 

August 20, 1772. 

The Committee proceed to lay down such Regulations ^ 
they jydge will be requisite for conducting the General Super- 
intendence of the 5.evenue SystenJat th^ Presidency and the 
Business of the Khalsa in its detail. 

The Dewanni may in the first place be co^jsidered as com- 
posed of two Branches : 

1. The Collection of the Revenue. 

2. The Administration ofj Justice in Civil Cases. 

For regulating the Latter a separate Plan has been already 
framed. The Farming having been entirely subdivided into 
Collectorships, under the Agency of the Company's servants, 
the Control and Superintendence, to be exercised by the Presi- 
dent and Council, will consist cljiefiy in issuing the necessary 
Orders to those Collectors, in fnspScting, auditing and passing 
their Accounts and in occasionally visiting their Districts for 
the purpose of making Local Investigations and Enquiries 
into the State of them and into the Collectors' Discharge of 
their Duty to the Public and to their Employers. The Com- 
mittee are of opinion that this weighty and important Trust 
can be nowhere so properly lodged as in the body of the 
Council at large. The Hon. Court of Directors have indeed 
recommended the* Mode of Committees, but nothing being so 
essential to the Success of the Revenue System as Expedition 
in deciding upon all Points of Reference and in issuing the 
consequent Orders, and as a Committee being only authorized 
to prepare Matter for the Sanction and Approbation of the 
Council at larg.e must necessarily occasion Delay in this parti- 
cular, This Committee think it will always oe for the Interest 
of the Company to profit by the Counsel and Service of every 
Member of their Administration in so capital an Object of 
their Affairs. 

For Conducting the General Control therefore of the De- 
wanni and for Managing the detail of the Business of the 
Khalsa the following Regulations are proposed. : 

[Summary only ; the full text may be found in the House of 
Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 312.] 

The whole Council to form a Board of Revenue and meet 
twice a week. 

One Member tq act each week as Auditor of the Duannee. 
Accounts to be made up weekly and passed by the whole 
Board monthly. 


A principal Muttaseddie to be appointed to superintend the 
conduct and receive the accounts of the provincial Duans; 
to be stiled Roy royan and attend at the B. of Revenue. 
Rajabullub to be appointed. 

The Khalsa to examine and compare all accounts of the 
Duans with the invoices, directing payments to be made into 
the Treasury, receive sucl^ rents as may be paid at Calcutta, 
prepare grants, sunrluds and perwannahs : 'to be conducted by 
the members of the Council in rotation and the Roy royan. 

The Roy royan to report daily to the President and to 
attend daily on the member of Council superintending the 
Khalsa. To have a translator. 

A Company's servant with assistanfs to be Accountant- 
General of the Dewanni. C. Croftes recommended. 

List of Officers &c. 

No. 4. Revenues of Bengal^ 1765 to 1771. 

House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, App. 65, p. 535. 

East India House. 

February 26, 

May 1765 
to April 































King and Ministers 

£ £ 


£ £ £ ■ 
319,845 709,054 29,096 66,3112,380,165 

[p. 3163 

John Hoole, Auditor of Accounts, 

No. 5. Account of Revenues^ i77i- 

Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 79. \ 

November 3, 1772. 

Para. i. . . . We have closed the Account of the 
neat Settlement and Collections for the last Bengal Year 
[i. e. May 1770 to April 1771], a copy of which we now trans- 
mit . . . the total Receipts . . . amounted for the last year to 
S.R. 157,26,576, 10, 2, I . . . We flatter ourselves that the com- 
parative View we hope you will take of the Bengal Collections 


for these several Years past with those of last Year will satisfy 
you as to the favorable Success we have met with in the 
• Collections of the Revenues. 

Para. 6, p. 83. [Effects of Famine.] The effects of the 
dreadful Famine which visited these Provinces in the Ye0,r 
1770, and raged during the whole course of that Year, have 
been I'egularly made known to yoif by our former advices and 
to the Public by faboured Descriptions, in which every Cir- 
cumstance of Fact, and every Art of Lan^age, have been 
accumulated to raise Compassion, and to excite Indignation 
against your Servants whose unhappy Lot it was to be the 
Witnesses and Spectators of the Sufferings of their Fellow 
Creatures, But its influence on the Revenue has been yet 
unnoticed and even unfelt by those from whom it is collected : 
for notwithstanding the Loss of at least one-third of the 
Inhabitants of the Province, and the consequent Decrease of 
the Cultivation, the nett Collectij^ns of the Year 1771 exceeded 
€^en those of 1761, as will appear^from the following abstract 
of Accounts of the Board of Revenue at Moorshedabad, for the 
four last Years. 

"Bengal Net Collections. 

Year. A. d. Sicca Rupees. 

ii75ori768 152,54,856 9 4 3 

1 1 76 or 1769. The year of dearth which was 
productive of the Famine in 

the following year . . 131,49,148 632 
ii77ori770. The^ year of Famine and 

Mortality .... 140,06,030 732 

ii78ori77i ...... 157,26,576 10 2 i 

Deduct amount of Deficiencies 
occasioned in the Revenue 
by unavoidable Losses to 

Government . . . 3,92,915 11 12 3 

— : 

S.R. 153,33.660 14 9 2 

Para. 7. [The Revenue did not show a loss correspondent to 
the Famine because it was * violently kept up ' by means of 
the Najay Cess, &c.] < 

No. 6. Kanungoes. • 

Account of Mr, Baber, Resident at Midnapore, and consequent 
reduction of their powers. 
Calcutta Committee of Revenue Consultations, 3 . 
December 15, 1772. 

The real office is only that of a public register, but there are 
some circumstances attending it that have contributed to give 
the possessors an authority in the Province superior to any 



other, even that of the Phouzdar himself. The appointment 
is hereditary and therefore not being subject to those Charges 
to which that of the Phouzdar was liable, it became from this ^ 
permanancy very respectable ; besides which the Canongoes 
have always been the agents of Government set up as spies on 
the conduct of the Phouzdar ; consequently they have been 
justly considered as favorites of the Court, and respected as 
such. From the nature of their office thef have a Dufter in 
each pergunnah.^ Thus they have Carcoons and Mohurris in 
all parts of the Provinces, by whose means and from their own 
perpetual residence they are so intimately acquainted with 
the circumstances of the Zemindars, th^t they keep them in 
the most abject subjection. The Revenues of Midnapore 
have been always settled upon a Tushkees or conjectural valua- 
tion and no Hustabood ever taken : as long as the terms of the 
I Tushkees were complied with no scrutiny was made into the 

Zemindar's estate, and therefore the knowledge of a Phouzdar 
relative to the value of it must be extremely inaccurate. 
This the Zemindars well knew, and they also know as well 
that it was in the power of the Canongoes to expose the value 
41 of their pergunnas to the Phouzdar. This power the Canon- 
goes availed themselves of, and it was the rod which they held 
over them, so that the apprehension of an increase of his rents 
kept the Zemindar in very effectual awe of the Canongoe and 
there were scarcely any terms which the one could impose to 
which the other would not submit. Hence it arose that the 
Zemindar was obliged to grant them many indulgences by 
way of Hush-money. He let them have farms at an under- 
value, he granted them Charity lands under the denomination 
of Demutter Bumutter &c. and he suffered them to establish 
Hauts and Gunges with certain immunities. In a word the 
Canongoes have aa absolute influence over th^m, which they 
exercise in every method that can promote their own interest : 
and how fruitful in expedient these people are I need not say — 
I shall only observe that in general these expedients operate 
to the prejudice of the Country'. 

It was well known that the Canongoes were better acquainted 
with the state df the Provinces than any othei; persons, but the 
Zemindars individually, could possibly be ; it was therefore 
natural to apply to them on many points relative to the Col- 
lections, and in this manner they insinuated themselves into 
a branch of business foreign to their office ; however they 
made themselves so useful in this department, that at length 
most of the business of the Provinces was transacted through 
them : and this intermediate agency between the Phouzdar 


and Zemindar threw an additional weight of influence into 
^their scale. From these sources flowed in a tide of ascendency 
to the Canongoes, which greatly sunk the power of the Phouz- 
dar, and though it was nominally vested in the latter, it w^s 
exercised really by the former. • 

One mnovation paved the way for another and in process of 
time it has so hapf^ened that now the Cai^ongoes manage not 
only the Zemindars but the business of the Province. There 
is not a record but is in their possession, nor ^ paper given in 
by the Zemindar but through them. Their continual resi- 
dence on the spot gave them opportunities which they never 
let slip of interfering»in the Collections. They watched the 
different tempers of the Phouzdars and made encroachments 
on their authority according as they found them more or less 
active. From one step to another they have advanced so far 
as to get the chief management of the Collections in their own 
hands ; and so much of the exe(:utive part have they at last 
obtained, that they are now virtually the Collector, whilst he 
is formally a mere passive representative of Government, 
f hey are the channel through which all his information comes, 
and through which all his orders are conveyed. In this double 
capacity they have a double advantage : they can dictate what 
information they choose should be given to the Collector, and 
they execute their own dictates. This usurped power is not 
more repugnant to every principle of good government than it 
is contrary to the vDriginal institution of the office, which was 
nothing more than that of simply keeping copies of the Col- 
lections, which were stipulated by the Government and made by 
the Phouzdars, and of witnessing and registering public deeds. 

The intent and utility of this department in the Mogul 
Government were excellent. It was constituted to check and 
control the Phouzdars' and Zemindars' accounts, and that 
notwithstanding the many and frequent changes of Phouzdars 
there might be preserved regular Records uninterrupted by 
these events, and an office remain to which Government could 
always apply for materials regarding the Collections. 

I have showed the reason why the Zemindar is afraid of 
offending the Canongoe, whence it is also very apparent why 
the Canongoe should keep on good terms with the Zemindar 
and it is the interest of both to keep the Collector as much 
in the dark as possible. This collusive connection between 
the Canongoe and the Zemindar is diametrically opposite to 
the intention of the Government and entirely counteracts the 
very purposes which the appointment was meant to promote. 
Instead of being the agents of the Government they are 



become the associates of the Zemindars and conspire with 
them to conceal what it is their chief duty to divulge. ^ 

After so many years, nay almost centuries, ought not 
Government to have obtained from these people the most 
perfect and intimate knowledge of the nature and value of the 
rents ? and will it be believed that at this day, it is still in the 
dark ? however ex^traordL^iary it may appear I may venture 
to say that it is really the case, and as a proof (might I be per- 
mitted) I would appeal to the late Settlement of the Revenues 
of Midnapore on what information ? on what materials was it 
made ? was there a single instrument produced to guide the 
Board ? It is true the Canongoes haveca most perfect know- 
ledge of the Provinces and a very great influence over the 
Zemindars and in both these respects might have been of the 
greatest use to the Council, but this influence and this know- 
ledge they keep to themselves, employing both for their own 
purposes. Instead of assisting the Board in making the 
Settlement, what trouble did t'ney not give, what opposition 
did they not make to it ? 

In regard to the utility of the office, as to its being a per; 
petual register, I humbly conceive that it is quite destroyed 
by the appointment of a perpetual dewan, who is established 
for the same purpose on an infinitely better footing. Where 
then is the use of the Company's paying wages to the Canongoe 
for the support of Carcoons and Mohurris, who can now be 
employed only in keeping up connections .and an authority 
which it is evidently their interest to abolish } , . , 
Resolved — 

That the Resident be directed in conjunction with the 
Dewan to take upon him the office exercised by the Canon- 
goes ; and that If/^ do receive from them all their papers and 
accounts and dismiss the Carcoons and Mohurris employed by 
them in the Mofussil, so that they may be wholly dispossessed 
from all the charge and management of the Collections ; regis- 
tering of all deeds, contracts, ai?d grants of lands shall be con- 
tinued to them as formerly, in consideration of which they 
shall still receiye their allowance of Nancar. 

No. 7. State of the Country, 1773. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 137 ; Revenue Department. 
November 10, 1773. 

Para. 31. We cannot conclude without Jaying before you 
the present situation of the Country, as it impresses us with 
the most serious anxiety and calls for your impartial attention. 


In our last letter we advised you that the Periodical Rains 
had fallen very seasonably in most parts of Bengal and pre- 
sented the prospect of an abundant harvest. 

Para. 32. It is therefore with unfeigned concern we are uqw 
obliged to acquaint you that by the advices received from tke 
province of Bahar and different parts of Bengal, we have 
reason to be under^great apprehenMons o^ a failure in the pre- 
sent crops and of course a deficiency in the Revenue which 
depends so entirely on the produce of the earih. 

About the beginning of September there happened a very 
severe fall of rain which continued for two whole days, at- 
tended with a violent wind and rapid overflowing of waters. 
This storm, which extended itself over the greatest part of the 
country, not only destroyed considerable quantities of the old 
grain which were deposited in granaries and forced the Inhabi- 
tants of numerous villages to desert from their houses and 
seek their personal safety on the banks of Tanks and higher 
sp*ots of country, but also inuAdated the cultivated lands, on 
which the harvest was in great forwardness. To the repre- 
sentations which reached us from many quarters, in conse- 
quence of this public misfortune, claiming our consideration 
and a scrutiny of the losses sustained, we hardly had had time 
to pay any attention, when a calamity succeeded still more 
alarming, for in places where the waters of inundation sub- 
sided in any short space of time, the paddy would again have 
recovered its vegetation and the harvest have been but imma- 
terially affected. But whilst we were thus suspending our 
enquiries to preclude the effects of fraud and exaggeration, 
a drought ensued which has lasted ever since September 15, 
and by which the grain which had recovered the inunda- 
tion being deprived of the moisture necessary to fill the ear 
and bring it to maturity is likely to be blasted and totally 
destroyed. It is impossible we can speak with precision on 
such a subject in regard to every district of the provinces. . . . 

Para. 33. We will not anticipate a calculation of the losses 
to be expected . . . but we .earnestly entreat you to bestow 
your attention on the above events and to allow them that 
weight in your ^'udgement of our conduct, wiiich may be 
justly claimed by a consideration of circumstances so delicate 
as the various casualties incident to your revenue. It is 
a fact universally known that your Collections suffered a 
considerable diminution last year from the abundance of 
the harvests and the cheapness of grain, particularly in the 
northern districts ; and it is now not less notorious that the 
same consequence is to be seriously apprehended from the 



inundation and drought. These are circumstances as to which 
no circumspection or prudence can afford either a guard or ^ 
a remedy ; and where local knowledge withholds its aid they 
require to be judged of with most literal candour, in order to 
admit the conviction that the same effects proceed from most 
opposite causes. The measures we have taken, as advised 
from the General Dppartnfeint, to prevent phe risk of a second 
scarcity we trust will answer the proposed end and be honoured 
with your approbation. 

No. 8. Revenues of Bihar anc(,^Kuch Behar, 
Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 219. 

December 31, 1773. 

Para. 6. You will observe that the Collections of Bahar Pro- 
vince for the last year have, .fallen short of those of the pre- 
ceding year. The principal'defitciency has arisen in the Collec- 
torship of Tirhut, owing to the great part of the crop having 
been destroyed for want of rain in September and October. ^ 

The reductions on account of the abolition of the chokeys 
were also considerable, but the loss arising from this circum- 
stance will we hope be compensated by the Collections of the 
Custom House established at Patna according to our new 

Para. 7. You will perceive also that the settlement of Bahar 
for the present year has been considerably reduced by the 
deductions allowed on account of the inundations which in 
the month of September last proved uncommonly violent in 
many parts of that province. Representations were made by 
different renters the Council at Patna and by them to us, 
and were confirmed by the accounts we have received from 
our President who was then on the spot. Where the revenue 
is rated agreably to the expected produce in a tolerably 
favorable season, we are obliged, however unwillingly, to 
admit of deductions on account, of extraordinary accidents, 
lest an ill-timed severity should add to the desolation of the 
country and discourage all persons of credit <from engaging in 
the farming business. 

Para. 8. In the 3 years settlement which was made of Bahar 
Province concluding with the year 11 81, the several renters 
having engaged that if the Government chose it they would 
continue to hold their farm for the year 11 81^ We have thought 
it for your interest that they should be contmued accordingly. 
We have further given notice that on the expiration of these 


leases, we purpose letting out for 5 years all such part of Bahar 
^ Province as cannot be settled on the Mocurrery Plan or leases 
for life, the particulars of which we explained to you in the 
1 6th paragraph of our last address, and we have in consequei\ce 
directed the Chief and Council at Patna to transmit to us pro- 
posals, for the present renters, should any of them be desirous 
of extending their leases to that p^iod 09 such terms as may 
be judged advantageous. 

Para. 12. The Collector of Cooch Bahar ha* sent us a state- 
ment of the Revenue of that District amounting to 3j- lacks, of 
which one half belongs to the Company, the other to the Rajah, 
but part of the Rajsrti's share will be paid to the Company 
' according to the Treaty for defraying the expenses of the 

This country appears now to be tolerably free from the 
irruptions of the Boutanners, and we have ordered the Collec- 
ted to be particularly attentive to^ conciliate the minds of the 
inhabitants. As the Rajah is* not himself capable of conduct- 
ing the executive part of the Collections we propose to farm 
^ut the country on his behalf in such divisions as may appear 
most eligible. 

No. 9. New Plan of Revenue Department, 
Letter to Mr. BotUton, Chairman of the Courts 1773-4. 

Bri^sh Museum Add. MS. 29127, p. 108. 
Fort William. November 11, 1773. 

Dear Sir, I beg leave to repeat my grateful thanks to you 
particularly for the great honor done me both in the public 
letters to the 5oard and in those which the^ourt of Directors 
were pleased to address to me singly.^ So ample and honorable 
a testimony of their approbation exceeded even my wishes, 
although the consciousness of my own integrity and the con- 
viction of the propriety of rt^y conduct led me to hope for a 
general approbation. I hope the political measures I have 
lately engaged in will obtain the same sanction. 

The receipt o^ your advices and commands Ky the Harcourt 
has opened to us a scene for great improvements, and it is our 
united wish to make them on a large and liberal plan, which 
shall include the interests of the Company for a length of years 
to come. The execution of it must also be the progressive 
work of years. ,In this business the members of the Board 
have not met officially, but separately contributed their ideas, 
1 Vide p. 145, No. 8. 



which have been compared and corrected in many private 
meetings till we have compiled them into a system corre- ( 
spondent to all our ideas. This we have nearly completed, 
but we have not yet brought it on our Records, nor reported 
i^ in our General Letter, because it still wants the last correc- 
tion. These are the outlines of the Plan : 

In addition to the present Chiefships to form three more 
with a Council to each which shall have charge of the Collec- 
tions. This div4ded into the following grand divisions : 

1. Calcutta. 4. Dacca. 

2. Moorshedabad. 5. Dinagepore. 

3. Patna or Bahar. 6. *Burdwan.^ 

Each of these stations takes in the Districts round it. A 
Member of the superior Council with 4 others composes each 
Council. Two Members of the Board with 3 inferior Servants 
superintend the Division of Calcutta which is called a Com- 
mittee. These departments abe all to correspond with t'ne 
Board of Revenue. They are designed only for a temporary 
expedient for the present purpose of directing the Collections 
and for the future purpose of introducing by degrees another 
system which it is hoped will be fixed for perpetuity and is as 
follows : 

That the present Districts now managed by Collectors may 
be superintended by Dewans or principal Farmers and be con- 
trouled by a Committee of Revenue in Calcutta formed as that 
proposed on the Temporary Plan. To effect this creditable 
men must be found for the Districts ; the account of the 
Collections made more simple and uniform ; the Courts and 
modes of Justice well established ; and the limits of each 
District, which are strangely intermixed, defined and well 
distinguished. Wuen this is done the Councils may be with- 
drawn and the whole controul and authority center where it 
should be, at the Capital. . . . 

No. 10. Permanent and Temporary Plans of Revenue Reform. 
Bengal Revenue Consultations, 5, Range 49, vol. 42, p. 3651. 

November 23, 1773. 

The Board having at several meetings since the receipt of 
the Har court's advices debated on the various means which 
occurred to them for carrying into execution the intentions of 
the Hon. Court of Directors for the future contkoul and manage- 

* The ' present Chiefships ' were Calcutta, Murshidabad, and Dacca. 


ment of the Revenues and for the removal of the Collectors 
from their stations, and having maturely considered and 
weighed all the consequences which may attend every measure 
which may be adopted are of opinion that the immediate 
removal of the Collectors or the establishment of any con- 
sistent, and permanent system vdthout such preparatory 
measures as might prevent the bad cc«isequences of too 
sudden a change and gradually introduce a more perfect form 
of superintendency would be hazardous to the*Collections and 
bring at once a greater weight of business on the Members of 
the superior Administration than they could possibly support : 

Permanent Plan. 
On these grounds they do propose the following Plan for 
a future Establishment to be adopted and completed by such 
means as experience shall furnish and the final orders of the 
Hcjn. Company shall allow. , * « 

1. That the Districts which form the present Collectorships 
shall remain with such variations as shall render them more 
(iasy of controul and more subservient to the general system. 

2. That each District be superintended by a Dewan or 
Aumil, except such as shall have been let entire to Zemindars 
or other responsible Farmers, who shall in such case be in- 
vested with that authority. 

3. That a Committee of Revenue be formed at the Presi- 
dency which shall 'consist of two Members of the Board and 
three senior Servants below the Council for conducting the 
current business of the Collections in the manner following : 

4. The Committee shall meet daily. They shall form reso- 
lutions or orders for the current or ordinary business of the 
Districts, and prepare, weekly or monthly, a teparate state of 
each District ; an account of the demands, receipts and 
balances of each District ; and a report of such extraordinary 
occurrences, claims and proposals as may require the orders 
of the superior Council, which'*are to be laid before them in 
their Revenue department. ' 

5. The Dewans shall correspond with the President of the 
Committee and th'e Royroyan, and send in their bills, chelans 
and accounts to them. These shall be registered in the proper 
offices of the Khalsa ; and such translations and abstracts 
made of them as shall be necessary for the inspection of the 

6. All orders to the Dewans shall be translated and written 
in the name of the President of the Committee and the Royroyan, 
to be sealed with the seal of the Khalsa and signed by them. 



7. Occas'onal Commissioners or Inspectors shall be deputed 
to visit such of the districts as may require a local investiga*^ 
tion. These shall be chosen from the Company's covenanted 
s'ervants, not by seniority but by the free election of the 
Board. They shall be men well qualified for this trust by 
a knowledge of the Persian or Indostan language and by 
a moderation of temper. o 

8. An objection made by a single member of the Board to 
any person proposed, as wanting of these requisites, shall be a 
sufficient bar to his appointment without proofs being required 
to support it. The Commissioners shall receive an allowance 
of i,5oor. p.m. for their trouble and for all expenses during 
their deputation. They shall not be allowed to take with them 
their private banians nor any servants or dependents without 
express leave in writing of the Board. They shall be forbid, 
on pain of suspension from the service, to lend or borrow 
money, to take any concei^ti 'in^f arms, talooks or securities, or 
to purchase or to sell or contract to purchase or sell any article 
whatever in the District, nor shall they suffer any of their ser- 
vants or dependents to do either. Strict orders shall be given 
in writing to every officer commanding the sepoy stations for- 
bidding them to detach any sepoys either singly or in parties 
for any purpose whatever beyond their quarters, except when 
required on military service ; to punish or confine any person 
not appertaining to his command ; to lend or borrow money ; 
to take any concern in farms, talooks or securities; to purchase 
or sell or contract to purchase or sell any article whatever 
either in the district in which he resides or in any other ; or to 
have any dealings of any kind whatever with any duan, zemin- 
dar, farmer or ryot or other dependent or officer of the revenue. 
The same orderschall be published to be observed by the other . 
officers, both European and Native, of the battalion and to all 
sepoys and followers of it. It shall be declared that the Com- 
manding Officer shall be responsible for any public breach of 
these orders by any person jvhatever under his command. 
And the Governor shall have power of recalling them without 
assigning a reason either to them or to the Board. 

9. The officers of the Phouzdari Adaulut "shall be forbid to 
hold farms or other offices in the Mofussil. They shall be 
obliged to reside on pain of forfeiting their employments ; and 
it shall be declared criminal in any person to officiate in the 
courts of Adaulut in the capacity of Naibs or Gomastahs for 
principals non-resident. 

to. All complaints of reiats or others against Dewans, 
zeniindars, farmers or other public officers of the Revenue 


shall be received and decided by the Committee, or by persons 
expressly appointed by them for that purpose. 

For the means of carrying the above plan into execution in 
such a manner and at such times as may be found most con- 
venient for effecting the purposes intended by it and prevent- 
ing t|ie ill consequences to whic^ the Collections would be 
exposed by an improvident aiid precipitate innovation, 
resolved that the following plan be immediately adopted to be 
and to be declared to be only for a temporarj^ purpose. 

^Temporary Plan. 
Bengal Revenue Consultations, 5, Range 49, vol. 42, p. 3655. 

1. The Provinces to be formed into the following Grand 
Divisions. , » , 

2. First Calcutta, to include Calcutta Pergunnahs, Hugli, 
Hedgelee, Mysadel, Tumlook, Nuddea, Jessore, Mahmud- 

,thy, &c. 

3. Second Burdwan. 

4. Third Moorshedabad. 

5. Fourth Dinagepore. 

6. Fifth Dacca. 

7. Patna. 

8. Chittagong* and Tipperah to remain on their present 
footing under the management of a Chief. 

9. A Committee of Revenue to be instituted at Calcutta 
for superintending the First Grand Division, to be composed 
of two Members of the Council and 3 senior Servants. 

10. The Councils for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th ^Divisions to be a 
Chief and 4 senior Servants. 

11. Superintendent of the Khalsa to be abolished when the 
Provincial Councils are established. 

12. The Registry of the Khaisa to remain and the Royroyan. 

13. Auditor and Accountant-General to remain ; to be 
independent of the Council of Revenue. • 

14. A Duan to each Provincial Council to be thosen by the 

15. The Provincial Councils to correspond with the Council 
of Revenue and the Duans with the Royroyan. 

16. The Provincial Councils to recommend Naibs for the 
remote Districts tp be nominated by the Board. 

17. Naibs to receive orders from the Provincial Councils. 

18. The Provincial Councils alone to have public Seals. 



19. Cooch' Bahar to be under the direction of the Governor 
but accounts to go to the Provincial Council. ^ 

20. Naibs to hold Courts of Dewanny Adaulut with an 
appeal to the Provincial Sudder Court. 

21. Orders to be issued to the Sepoy Officers to forbid 
detachments on other tha^ military service, or any dealing 
with Revenue officens. , 

22. Officers of Phouzdary Adauluts forbidden to hold farms, 
&c., and bound to reside in their Districts. 

23. Complaints against Phouzdary Officers to go to the 
Governor and be by him referred to the Sudder Nizamut 
Adaulut. ^ 

24. Members of the superior Councils to be restricted from 
any kind of Trade whatever and to receive 3000 rupees p. m. 

25. Export Warehouse Keepers forbidden to trade in 
Investment goods. 

26. District Covenanted "Servants forbidden to make 
advances for the necessaries of Life, i.e. Grain, Ghee, Oil, Fish, 
Jute, Matts, Straw, Bamboos, Beetle-'nutt and Tobacco. 

27. Provincial Councils to enquire particulars of any Taa-,. 
lucks in their neighbourhood not included in their roll. 

It being the professed Intention of the Board to make the 
Plan now adopted subservient to that which they propose for 
a future and perpetual system. It is their further design that 
whenever the amounts or arrangements of any one Division 
shall be so regulated and compleated, as to enable them to 
bring the controul down to the Presidency, The Provincial 
Council shall be accordingly withdrawn, and either continue 
to conduct the Business of the Division at the Presidency, or 
transfer it at once to the Committee. By such progressive 
method an easy Ghange may be Effected, without the Smallest 
hazard of any Loss or Embarrassment, at the same time that 
a Provision is made for the admission of such other improve- 
ments as the Hon. Court of Directors may enjoin, and which 
would either be precluded by^ any other mode or the new 
Measures which may have been Established must be abolished 
to make room for them, which would occasion fresh Per- 
plexities in the Revenue, and fill the minds of the People with 
Apprehensions of perpetual Changes, 



Problem and principles of reform — Adaptation of Native Courts — District 
and Sudder Courts established — Native code retained — Arbitration — 
The Mayor's Court — E^ect of Reforms — Confusion caused by Regulating 
Act — Permanence of Hastings's measures — Conclusion. 

Under native rule there were two main channels of 
Justice : the Diwan dealt with civil cases ; the Nazim exer- 
cised authority over criminal^ ;* but their jurisdiction was not 
clearly distinguished, and by 1772 these two channels were con- 
fused by the increase of subordinate Courts and the atrophy of 
the higher ones, while the influence of the Company's servants 
overshadowed and in large measure paralysed such powers as 
remained. Those of the Naib-Nazim, like his master's, the 
Nawab's, had gone to nothing,^ while the functions of the 
inferior Courts liad become inextricably confounded. The 
Committee of Circuit enumerates ten officers of Justice with 
their respective Courts as having a nominal existence.^ 

1. The Nazim in the Roy Adalut [to deal with capital 

II. The Diwan [nominally to deal with questions of 
landed property]. 
III. The Darogo Adalut al Aalea, deputy for the Nazim 
[to deal with property causes, exclusive of land, 
inheritance, &c., and with libels]. 
IV. The Darogo Adalut Diwani^ deputy «f the Diwan, 
[deals actually with questions of landed property]. 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 346. 

* The of&ce of Nazim, including control of military forces and the exer- 
cise of criminal jurisdiction, was the original function of the Nawab-Nazim ; 
but as the Nawab's independence of the Mogul Empire grew and he became 
Prince of Bengal instead of military governor of a Province, he delegated 
his original duties to a subordinate called the Naib, i.e. Deputy Nazim. 



V. The Faujdar (police officer and judge of crimes not 

VI. The Kasi (judge in questions of inheritance and 

officer for registration of marriages, &c.). 

VII. The Mohtesib (officer for dealing with cases of drunk- 

enness, false weigjhts, &c.). 
VIII. The Mufti, expounder of Mohammedan Law (acting 
only as* a referee, originally the Kasi's superior). 
IX. The Kanungo, a land registrar and keeper of records 
(acting only as a referee). 
X. The Kotwal (an officer responsible for the keeping of 
the peace at night). 

Of all these Courts and officials only IV and V, the Courts of 
the Darogo Diwani and the Faujdar were of practical utility. 
In Justice as in Revenue everything was based ultimately oli 
the land tenures, which fixed the position and the liabilities of 
the parties according to the terms of their sanads, amalnamas , 
or pottahs, or in agreement with customary rights. Conse- 
quently all litigation tended to be referred eventually to the 
Court of the Darogo Adalut Diwani, the chief officer for ques- 
tions of land settlement and revenue. But in our period the 
desuetude of all native provincial authority created a situa- 
tion so grave as to justify Hastings's first impression that the 

1 Hastings draws a distinction between the Faujdar and the Faujdari 
Court, which does not seem very easy in its apphcation at all times. He 
says that the Faujdari Courts are Courts instituted for the trial of all crimes 
and misdemeanours, A^:.iile the Faujdars are officers appointed to guard the 
peace of the country and to seize all offenders against it. They consign 
such persons to the Faujdari Courts. This transfer is the only communica- 
tion which one office has with the other, their proceedings and their 
authority being totally distinct and independent. Without an apprecia- 
tion of this distinction it is hard to understand Hastings's proposals for 
repressing Dacoity. It is there proposed to renew the extinct office of 
Faujdars, whereas ^the Faujdari Courts had already been set on a firm 
basis in 1772, two years earlier. Yet it would seem*that Faujdar was, 
at least in common parlance, the term for the judge of the Faujdari Court. 
Hastings himself uses it so in the following verse : 

' For ease the harassed Foujdar prays. 
When crowded courts and sultry days 

Exhale the noxious fume. 
While poring o'er the cause he hears • 
The lengthened lie, and doubts and fears 
The culprit's final doom.' 



land was without any courts of Justice ; for the seat of the 
Courts enumerated above was at Murshidabad and' their range 
only extended a short way beyond the bounds of the city. In 
the districts, where they had functioned well enough early in 
the century, native authority was now mainly confined to 
objects of self-interest, as in the cas^ of the Kanungoes. The 
only live Court in* the countryside seem^ to have been the 
Cutcheri, or Zemindar's office, where complaints were con- 
stantly preferred and a rough-and-ready type of justice some- 
times administered. Those who wielded this capricious 
magisterial authority* were the Zemindars, Farmers of the 
rents, Shicdars, and other Revenue officers. The House of 
Commons Committee which in 1772 enumerated the native 
Courts pronounced this expedient to be at least better than 
tqfal anarchy in the country-sid^, while they deplored the 
necessity for it as being liable to the greatest oppressions. 

The power of the Diwani made it possible for Hastings to 
bring order into this chaos. He was clear as to the principles 
to be followed ; they are stated and defended in his ' Regula- 
tions proposed for the Government Nos. 8, 9, and lo.^ The 
first essential in his eyes was to retain the native magistracy 
and codes of law, recorded and oral, to which the people were 
accustomed. There was no principle which he held more 
tenaciously than this : that a nation is the only safe judge of 
its own liberties, and that for any foreign authority, however 
enlightened, to impose law on a people according to its own 
alien standards is to commit injustice. was said of the 
American ' rebels ' at the time, ' Liberty is what they hold to 
be such and to enforce on the Hindus a code borrowed from 
a nation in a totally different stage of civilization was a greater 
hardship than to allow the» anomalies and imperfections of 
their own laws to continue. He made it hjs aim then to 
correct the defects without destroying the traditions of the 
native systems. Their estimate of crime, it is true, differed 
sometimes in essentials from the European standard, and 
Hastings was careful, on that account, to preserve to the 
supreme power the right to intervene in critical cases. He 
1 Vide pp. 157, 158. 



himself, with English advisers, reviewed the decisions of the 
Sudder Faitjdari or Nizamut, and where the native sentence ^ 
traversed the plain sense of English justice it was corrected by 
the authority of the President and Council. This Nizamut 
v/as the new Court of Appeal in criminal jurisdiction set 
up by the Plan of Justice of 1772. Hastings with the Com- 
mittee of Circuit drew up this Plan on August 15, 1772, at 
Kasimbazar.^ , 

The old Courts which had proved useless were thereby super- 
seded, but those which could be adapted were preserved. 
Hastings took the small district as his administrative unit in 
every branch and required a Criminal and a Civil Court in each 
district. To this purpose he utilized the existing Courts of the 
Darogo Adalut Diwani, better known as the Mofussil or pro- 
vincial Diwani, for civil c^uses^ and the Faujdari Adalut for 
crimes and misdemeanours. By this means he afforded to the 
ryot an easy access to the seat of Justice, involving small cost 
and no absence from his district, and these Courts soon proved 
their value and were retained in subsequent reorganizations. 
The matters cognizable in either Court were clearly defined so 
as at once to simplify and reconcile the conflicting jurisdictions 
of the former Courts and to prevent any overlapping of the 
distinct authorities of Faujdar and Diwan. The objects of 
their jurisdiction were thus assigned : 
-t i. Mofussil Adalut Diwani. (For civil causes.) 

a. Property, real or personal. 

h. InheAtance, marriage or caste disputes. 

c. Debt, contracts, rents, &c. 

' But from this distribution is excepted the right of succes- 
sion to Zemindaris and TaluccJaris, which shall be left to the 
decision of the President and Council.' 

This exception secured to the Government 'the power, which 
it would otherwise have lost, to reconstruct the Land Settle- 
ment when the Five Years' Lease System should elapse. 

ii. The Faujdari Adalut. (For criminal jurisdiction; this 
appears to have been formed by a blending of the powers of 


* Vide Committee of Circuit, pp. 181 and 241, 



the- former superior Court (III) of Adalut al Aalea with that in 
^ which the Faujdar had presided (V).) 

a. Cases of murder, robbery, theft, &c. 
h. Felonies, forgery, perjury. » 
c. Assaults, frays, quarrels, adultery, and every other breach 
of the peacc» or trespass. > 

In this Court the judge had power to inflict*corporal punish- 
ment, imprisonment, work on the roads (an old-established 
form of punishment.^ in India), and fines of small amount. 
. Sentence of confiscation and of capital punishment had, how- 
ever, to be referred to the superior authority, the Court of 
Sudder Adalut at Calcutta, before they could be executed on 
the offenders. 

•By the provision of these* local Courts the need for the 
dubious magistracy of the Zemindar and the tyranny which 
^it involved were done away: only one remnant of such autho- 
rity was left. The head farmer of each pargana was to settle 
on the spot small disputes, up to the value of ten rupees, 
arising between the ryots, ' as they cannot afford nor ought 
they to be allowed, on every mutual disagreement, to travel 
to the Sudder Cytcherry for justice But care was taken 
to hinder these local worthies from becoming petty tyrants. 
They were given no power to punish or fine and were them- 
selves made liable to complaints brought against them in 
the newly instituted District Courts, a locked box to receive 
such complaints being provided outside ea^h Cutcheri. For 
economic reasons it was forbidden to summon cultivators to 
the District Courts, except in urgent cases, during the four 
months Bhadoom, Assin, A\2gun, and Poos (December to 
March), when they were mo^t needed in their fields. 

Above this local jurisdiction, which provided a means of 
Vedress for the villager, Hastings put the coping-stone to his 
system in the Sudder Courts at Calcutta, which were to be 
Courts of Appeal from the District Diwani and Faujdari Courts. 
In the Sudder Diwani civil appeals were to be heard by the 
President and two Councillors, assisted by the Diwan of the 
Khalsa (i. e. the Royroyan), the head Kanungoes, and other * 



lofficers of the Cutcheri. (.In the Sudder Faujdari criminal 
appeals and^capital sentences were investigated by the Nazim's 
deputy, the chief Kasi and Mufti, and three Moulavies or 
Mahomedan doctors of the law. If by them sanctioned, the 
sentences received the Nawab's formal warrant and returned 
to the District Court for execution. The President and Council, 
however, reserved to themselves a right of control over the 
decisions of this Court, generally known as the Nizamut, ' so 
that the Company's Administration, in character of the King's 
Diwan, may be satisfied that the decrees of Justice are not 
injured or perverted by partiality or corruption '}) 

Besides these new Courts and the regulations for their con- 
duct the reforms included the laying down of certain general 
principles fQjrJmproving the practice of the law. The chief of 
these were : t " « c 

a. The recording of all procedure in the Courts of every 

degree. , 

b. A time limit set to all litigation, to prevent the raking up 

of old grievances. This had been a customary check on 
litigiousness both with Mahomedans and Hindus. 

c. The abolition of legal ' Chout ' and heavy fines. 

\ d. The inhibition of the creditor's right of jurisdiction in his 
1 own cause, as in the case of Zemindars, Kanungoes, &c. 
I e. The encouragement of arbitration to settle cases of dis- 
puted property. 

The last had o^^ginated in a recommendation made by the 
Committee of the House of Commons which in 1771 made an 
inquiry into the methods of justice prevailing in Bengal. 
The Directors had instructed Cartier and his Council in conse- 
quence to adopt this fashion o{ composing disputes : they 
attempted it, but with little success, for arbitration was found 
to be unsuited to the habits and ideas of the'people. Hindus 
were untrained in the sense of mutual responsibility and local 
organization which are inherent in the texture of the simplest 

* The authority of the Diwan could be no real justification for inter- 
vention in the doings of the Nizamut, but is of course cited to give a colour 
to it in uninstructed native eyes. The evident need to retain this control 
in English hands appears in the account of cases. Vide pp. 332, 334. 



English community. The conceptions of fair play and 
impartiality which these have bred in the native* of Great 
Britain were foreign to India and the very opposite of the 
Oriental attitude of subservience and sycophancy which is' 
bound to prevail in countries ruled despotically for centuries. * 
Impartial arbitrators proved hard t4) find, and even where 
reliable men were available there was no inducement to them 
to act. The principle of arbitration was consequently re- 
tained in Hastings's system only as an aid to the decision of 
disputes as to landed property. 
^ Another disputed question was the position of the Mayor's 
CoiyJ . It had been instituted by charter in the early years of 
the settlement to protect and control the Company's servants 
in their dealings with one another and against the claims of 
thewnative officials. By the chji^rtfenof 1726 its authority was 
vested in the Mayor and Aldermen of Calcutta, with a right of 
appeal to the Governor and Council and finally to the King in 
Council. But the terms of its institution were so ill-defined 
that its powers, their range, and the laws they were to enforce 
seem all to have been open to dispute. Should its authority 
be confined to Calcutta, or extend with the spread of the 
original Settlement^ to the whole of Bengal ? Was the term 
British to include native subjects of the British Company ? 
and if so, were they amenable to the laws of England ? Thus 
in an inquiry on this subject by the Committee of the House 
of. Commons ^ a witness maintained : * Although this Court 
cannot legally isfeue process beyond the boun'^s of Calcutta or 
its subordinate factories, yet he had known their processes 
executed in all parts of Bengal under special order of the 
Governor and Council, granted s>t refused at their discretion,' 
and ' he had known natives' sent from every part of the 
country to that cqurt ' ; further he said, * the judges are not 
persons educated to the law, but any of the Junior Servants : 
he had heard it frequently declared by some of the judges that 
the Mayor's Court had nothing to do v/itlj the laws of England 
and that the accused (who was at that time Mayor) would not 
sit there to hear the laws of England named ; or to that 
1 House of Commons Reports, vol. iv, p. 331. 



purpose and effect.* This witness held that the judges were 
removable at the pleasure of the President and Council, buj 
this was denied by one of the defendants. Hastings had no 
•authority to reform this Court, but could only do his best to 
* prevent abuse of its authority. As he had supported its 
jurisdiction to enforce ortder among officers of the army, he now 
refused to allow Mr. Lushington, an influential and valuable 
member of the Revenue Department, to use its powers for his 
private ends by summoning before it a Zemindar on whom he 
had claims. The native was liberated on bail, but no final 
decision of the points at issue coulcf be reached except by, 
appeal to the Court of Directors, to fix and define the scope 
and powers of the Court. 

Meanwhile the new Courts of Justice were working well, 
with speed and regularitty.' ,The chief blot on this, as om the 
Settlement reform, was the necessity to leave too much power 
lodged in the District collector. In the Mofussil Adalut 
Diwani he presided and had a supervising authority over the 
Faujdar ; but with the creation of the Provincial Councils the 
collectors' supremacy was restrained. On the whole, Hastings 
was satisfied that only time was needed to prove the value and 
soundness of his system. But time was. denied. Before an 
appreciation of the new order of things in Bengal could spread 
beyond the limited circle of the Directors to influence public 
opinion in England, it was undermined by the parliamentary 
move of North's Regulating Act, a drastic reconstruction of 
the whole govd'nment of India, inspired by political rather 
than economic motives, and induced less by a study of the 
letters from Bengal than of the balance sheets of the Company. 
American dispatches were n«t the only ones that were over- 
looked by an eighteenth- centiiry administration, and if the 
loss of the American colonies is not to be placed solely to 
North's account, neither can he be acquitted of sorely 
hampering the man to whom his contemporaries owed the 
retention of India. . 

Not that reforms were unneeded ; but those who knew the 
reality of the need should have been consulted how to meet it. 
Hastings had all along been urging his employers to form their 


government on a more capable plan. He declared to Sir 
♦G. Colebrooke the necessity of : ' 

a. Distinguishing the powers of the Council, the Select 

Committee, and the Governor. 
h, SujDstituting for the nominal authority of the Governor 

a degree of asStive control.^ , 

And he suggested means to secure these imprQvements. He 
insisted that the Governor ought to have a long tenure of 
office : * God forbid that the Government of this fine country 
, should continue to be a^mere chair for a triennial succession of 
indigent adventurers to sit and hatch private fortunes in ' ; 
and wrote : * I am certain that at some period not far distant 
the powers which I have solicited will be given, whether it be 
m> lot or that of another to possejs fhem ; for it will be found 
impossible for a Government as extensive as this is to subsist 
in a divided power.' The claimJs bold, but consistent with his 
own practice of giving ample powers and a free hand to the 
responsible officer. The constitutional checks and balancings 
of parliamentary machinery were unsuited to the character of 
the Indian territories ; the history of the next eighty years 
proved the necessity for a strong hand over them. It was 
a lawgiver and not merely laws that was wanted ; above all, 
not the laws of another people. The failure of a representa- 
tive government to grasp the requirements of an unrepre- 
sented Empire could hardly be more clearly shown than in 
Lord North's application of the panacea of JJritish Laws, laid 
on with insular complacency to heal the wounds dealt to 
Bengal mainly by British intrusion. 

North was the minister w})o had sanctioned Hastings's 
appointment and who was to .naintain him in office for another 
decade, but he wj^s far from aiding him by the, new Act. It 
had. two aims : to regulate the Company's financial position, 
and to assert the Crown's right to supervise the government of 
its territories. With the former object the Company's annual 
payment of £400,000 interest on a loan, granted by Parlia- 
ment in 1772, wa^ remitted until a fresh loan of £1,400,000 

1 Gleig, vol. i, p. 291, 



should have been paid off. To secure this the Court was for- 
bidden to'raise its dividend above 6% or to accept unlimitedf 
bills contpcted in India ; it was further bound to export 
'a given amount of British goods each year and to submit its 
' accounts to the Treasury. (The control of Indian government 
was secured by the appt>intment of a Governor- General and 
Council of four by Parliament, to be renewed by the Court of 
Directors with the sanction of the Crown ; political matters 
coming before the Directors were to be submitted to the Crown; 
and a Chief Justice with three Puisne J^idges, appointed by the 
Crown at fixed salaries, were to constitute a Supreme Judica- • 
ture for Bengal. One accession was made to the power of 
Hastings in giving him control over the Presidencies of Madras 
and Bombay, but in his Council his authority was weakened. 
The reduction of its memb*er(5hip to five realized Hastings's 
warning by making it far easier for a hostile majority to main- 
tain its cohesion and opposition ; the Governor-General then 
became a tool in their hands. ^ To this galling position Hast- 
ings found himself at once reduced. His past measures were 
censured and where possible repealed, his agents displaced, and 
hi? hopes of carrying further reforms brought to an end for the 
time being. Until he recovered the casting vote in 1776 he 
could effect comparatively little ; it was the more fortunate 
that he had already done so much that the internal adminis- 
tration of the provinces could run on comparatively smooth 
lines even while the guiding power was in abeyance. 

In the sphere ^f Justice this was peculiarly the case. Hast- 
ings had written to his old ally, Dupr6, * We have been very 
unfortunate in the time which we have chosen for our judicial 
improvements, for we cannot «jndo what we have done, and if 
the Lord Chief Justice and his judges should come amongst us 
with their institutes the Lord have mercy upon us '. Happily 
for Bengal, while the Regulating Act set up this fresh 
machinery its framers were too unconscious of the existing 
one to abolish it. Consequently Hastings's Courts continued 
to work on as steadily as the friction in Council allowed while 
the^ Lord Chief Justice set up his new judiciary in Calcutta. 
Impey was an old friejid of Hastings and had already begun to 




enter into his views before the inevitable friction between 
^ their Courts became dangerous. He was thus reac^ to concert 
with him a way out of the deadlock by assuming control of 
both systems and lending his technical skill to throw into legal 
form a new Plan of Justice which Hastings had prepared t'o 
reconcile, as far as might be, the r^val systems. It was sent 
home in 1776, but never passed into law.^ The Courts of 1772, 
however, continued to exist, and in 1780 a new code of Regu- 
lations re-embodied those of 1772. They were reaffirmed in 
the Revised Code of^ I793, and are still in force, although 
, qualified in their application by the Act of 1833.2 The 
year 1780 thus saw the fruition of Hastings's aims both 
in the sphere of the Land Settlement and Revenue and in 
that of Justice, the two pillars on which rest the adminis- 
tmtive edifice of Bengal, aix^i Vhich made his influence a 
permanent if not paramount one in the future government of 
the country. 

The work which Warren Hastings did in a career of thirty* 
five years in India raises him above praise or detraction. By 
a gradual and steady growth the ideals which he sought have 
come to prevail : his is ' the glory of going on and still to be '. 

We should praisp any man who in so short a time extricated 
a great commercial enterprise from such failure as at that 
time threatened the East India Company ; Hastings deserves 
this praise, but he deserves more. We should acclaim the 
general whose foresight saved an empire for his country. 
Bengal, when Hastings assumed control, wa#ready to collapse 
with sheer rottenness ; he purified it and made it the source 
of strength for the older Presidencies ; he deserves this tribute 
too. But this is still only a part of his achievements. He 
found the English in Bengal ^ source of disease and misery to 
the country, apparently incapable of cure : he^ turned them 
into a spring of new life which brought integrity and vigour 
into its government, humanity into its law courts, freedom 
into its markets. He found the natiyes themselves, quite 
apart from the intrusion of the English, hopelessly divided. 

1 House of Commons Reports, vol. vi. , 

2 Ilbert, The Government of India, pp. 59, 84. 



Had there been no Plassey, Bengal must still have been a prey 
to anarchy^ rival princes disputed the throne, marauders 
drained thj^ most fertile provinces, official corruption and 
greed exploited instea(J of protecting the peasantry. All this 
\^as transformed by Hastings : a firm authority was set up, 
enemies were shut out, an^, above all, the long-suffering ryot, 
whose cause Hastirigs had ever most at heart, learnt that he 
could work his Mnd unhindered and enjoy a fair share of its 
fruits, and that the poor as well as the great could get a hear- 
ing and receive justice. It is this determination to protect 
the down-trodden cultivator more than any other single thing 
that stamps Hastings as a statesman. It served him as a clue 
through the labyrinth of Bengal's disorders : holding this fast 
he was able to do more than save the English power in Bengal ; 
he saved Bengal itself. c ' 

But it is impossible to review Hastings's career without 
becoming conscious of the conditions that ruled his age. By 
the eighteenth century England had in the main found herself. 
Her Nationality had long since reached its development, 
Liberty was accepted in theory as the principle of British 
citizenship, and she had already for a century and a half begun 
to sow the seeds of Empire. Yet in the eighteenth century 
and even at its close these three great principles were but half 
realized. Men were still barely conscious of the meaning of 
National Life ; the magnates still disputed the right of a free 
press and a wide franchise, and the Government still looked on 
the colonies as f;iere sources of unearned increment to the 
mother country. The East India Company displays these 
features as in a model. In it the sons and grandsons of Eliza- 
beth's sea-captains found an outlet for their ventures, and the 
clash of their interests with those of Dutch and French rivals 
reacted on their countrymen in a quickened ^nse of England's 
claims. The Company, unwarlike as were the cargoes in its 
bluff hulls, forged some of the strongest links that make the 
chain of English searrjanship one, from the raids of Drake to 
the victories of Rodney and Nelson. Through the everyday 
adventures of such men as Cartwright and Charnock, and just 
because to them adventure was an everyday occurrence, the 



natit)n began to know itself for a sea-power. Again, English 
^ colonial ventures were not state-ordained like tho*^e of Louis 
XIV. Nowhere perhaps was British liberty more |eal than in 
the unrestricted life of her great trading companies. Onc'e 
licensed by the State they were left to sink or swim, to adapt 
themselves as best^they might to ^he strange conditions of 
alien countries while holding all the faster to their home tradi- 
tions and planting in the new soil the germs of«British civiliza- 
tion. Thus the penetration of India was rather a natural 
growth than a conquest ; at Plassey indeed it burst into open 
» life, but the commercial sheathing in which the empire of India 
lay hid was not cast off for another century. Hastings was 
before all things the respectful servant of the Company and 
a civilian at heart. He took his part in the campaign of 
Pllissey, but he spent year after** y«ear, before and after that 
event, steadily accumulating a fine and intimate knowledge of 
^he Indian peoples, their economic life, their religions and 
their government. In this diligent service he did not however 
lose sense of proportion or lower his vision from the world-wide 
interests of both lands, and in him the policy that drew the 
Governor of India from the counting-house was for once justi- 
fied. It was a dowbtful policy, for the statesman within did 
not usually survive the forces of commercialism without, and 
it was bound to change with the changing fortunes of the 
Company ; Hastings's successor. Lord Cornwallis, came from 
among England's magnates in order that he might be above 
the influences oJ patronage and able to resist as he did, even 
the recommendation of the Prince of Wales, and govern rather 
for the public good than for the Company's. And Hastings, 
servant and nominee of the Company as he was, showed him- 
self in this superior to his age, that he withstood the forces of 
influence in the interests of Bengal, and thoif§^ he himself 
succumbed to them in the end, he had proved himself able, 
whether from personal ability or the instinct for leadership, to 
rise to the height demanded oi the first English ruler of a great 
part of India. It was this capability for government that 
enabled him to shake off the submissive attitude of, the 
eighteenth-century client to his patrons when t^iey failed to 

1526.9 v 


realize the country's needs ; to resist and denounce corrup- 
tion, even ifi the Directors' proteges; to stem the flood of high- ^ 
born cadets which they were pouring into Bengal ; and to 
depose the Collectors from their precious vantage-ground, 
fiut while he was eager to root out and to break with the shams 
and anomalies that had prevailed, he was not conteht with 
negative nor with hklf-measures. For over a decade the Com- 
pany had attempted to suppress privileges and oppressions 
like the dustuk ; Clive had been given dictatorial powers ; 
but what had been done ? Hastings in a year put down 
dustuks, chokeys, the excesses of I^anungoes, Amils and , 
collectors, Boards that 'did not meet ', Pargana sepoys who 
robbed and beat the peasants. And in this cleansing process 
Hastings abolished nothing that could be of use. While with 
one hand he purged, with«the<r)ther he built up, using native 
materials, restoring old institutions wherever they were sound 
enough to be made progressive. It is, indeed, a fair criticism 
to say of his administration that he did not reform Bengal, but 
only gave free play to the vital powers latent in the ancient 
Indian fabric. Such criticism is, however, the highest praise. 
The power to conserve precedent order as a basis for higher 
law is the test of true statesmanship, ^nd in the work of 
1772 Hastings shows this essentially English quality in 
marked degree, making, like P;tt, his aim security, stability, 
the restoration of the old order as an introduction to 
the new. 

For the rule oPHastings was the beginning of a new order in 
the East. As in its economic experience the Company found it 
impossible to retain the shibboleths of the mercantile theory 
and in its own practice adopted the line of * free and open 
trade', a step forward which Adam Smith was simultaneously 
urging on tjx'b Anglo-Saxon world : so hv governing with 
a single eye to the good of the governed, Hastings affirmed 
a new principle, left behind him the age of exploitation, and 
opened the new channel to the empire of united British 
Dominions Overseas. It is significant that the lesson of 
imperial responsibility hardly learned in £he American War 
was driven home through India. Just when it was proved 



fatSil to the continuance of dominion in the West to exploit 
the colonies, at that very decade in the East the st^lf-interested 
character of the trading Company was exposed a^d the reins 
of government taken out of its hands by Pitt's Act, while the 
seven years' trial of Warren Hastings, though it proved hiin 
innocent, warned ^he nation what^ Justice would demand of 
the guilty and displayed in his administration a new standard 
of uprightness at the same time as it formulated clearly the 
maxims which can alone justify such a domination as ours 
in India. ^ 

The policy of self-interest that lost us America had been 
discarded only just in time in Bengal, and when the shock 
of that severance reverberated through the West it left the 
East unshaken. The effect of the administrative measures 
<ff Hastings was security, loynlty,^ and wealth, and when the 
strain of the American, French, Maratha, and Mysore wars 
^came, the fruit of his government was reaped. Bengal paid 
and largely furnished the troops that were to hold the other 
Presidencies. Her people showed themselves no sullen, 
beaten crowd, but men awaking from the lethargy of oppres- 
sion to a new freedom. That such a man as Chet Sing rebelled 
proved only how^hose who had risen through extortion felt 
the new restraints, while in the Governor- General's escape and 
quick recovery of prestige may be measured the general 
approval of his acts. The key to this change lies in the new 
Standard set up by Hastings and his fellow workers : Sykes, 
Becher, the Vansittarts, Verelst, Shore, alf in their measure 
helped to found the traditions of a Service through which, 
for over a hundred years, England has displayed the sig- 
nificance that lies for her in '^e terms Nationality, Liberty, 
and Empire. * 

• 3 








No. I. Plan for the Administration of Justice, 

Gommittee of Circuit, p. 241.* 

^ * [Summary.'] 

Cossimbazar, August 15, 1772. 

1. In each District shall be established 2 Courts of 
Judicature : 

(i) Mofussil Dewannee Adaulut. 

(ii) Phoujdaree Adaulut. 

2. Matters cognizable: 

(i) In the Dewannee,-"-All» disputes concerning Property, 
Inheritance, Marriage, Caste, Debt and Rent. 

(ii) In the Phoujdaree, — All cases of Murder, Robbery, 
Theft, Forgery, Perjury, and Breaches of the Peace. 

3. In the Dewannee Court is to preside the Collector of the 
District, attended by the provincial Dewan and officers of the 
Cutcheri ; it is to meet twice in each week. 

4. In the Phoujdaree Court the Cauzee and Muftee of the 
District and two Moulavies shall sit to exp9und the Law, but 
the Collector shall also attend to see that evidence is sum- 
moned and examined. 

5. In like manner 2 Superior Courts of Judicature shall be 
established at the chief seat of Government : 

(i) The Dewannee Sudder Adaulut. * 

(ii) The Niza<imt Sudder Adaulut. 

6. The Dewannee Sudder Adaulut shall receive appeals 
from the provincial Dewannee Adaulut. The President and 

2 Members of the Council shall preside therein, aided by the 
Dewan of the Khalsa, head Canongoes, and officers of the 

7. A Chief pfficer of Justice, appointed ok. the part of the 
Nazim, shall preside in the Nizamut Adaulut by the title'of 
Daroga Adaulut, assisted by the Cauzee and Muftee and 

3 Moulavies, to revise all proceedings of the provincial Adaulut 
and in capital cases sfgnifying t?heir approbation, to prepare 
the sentence for the warrant of the Nazirn, which shall be 
returned into the Mofussil and there executed. They are to 
act under the control of the Chief and Council. 


* 8. Subordinate Courts are to be set up at Calcutta as well 
as the Sudder Courts. * 

9. The Collectors shall at all times be ready tn> receive the 
petitions of the injured ; a box to be placed at tWe door of the 
Cutcheri for such petitions. » « 

10. , Persons are not to be summojied from the Farmed lands 
at times of harvest except on urgent affairs. 

11. All causes of Property under the value of 10 r. are to be 
tried by the Head Farmer of each pargana. ♦ 

12. Process in the provincial Dewannee Adaulut to be as 
follows : 

(i) File and reati petition. 

(ii) Allot fixed time for defendant to answer. 

(iii) Hear the parties viva voce and examine evidence. 

(iv) Pass decree. 

13. Complete records are to be kept and copies given to 
Ijoth parties free of expense and^a copy transmitted to the 
Sudder Dewannee. ' 

14. Each Collector to keep an abstract record in English. 

, 15. No complaints of over 12 years standing are to be heard. 
Any party going from one Court to another to create delay is 
to be non-suited. 

16. Chout and all fines are to be abolished. 

17. To prevent excessive litigation frivolous complaints 
may be punished by a fine of 5 r. or by 20 lashes. 

18. Fixed adjustments arranged for interest on old 

19. All bonds to be executed in the presence of two wit- 

, 20. No authority to be exercised in future by creditors over 
their debtors ;. Collectors are charged to prevent it. 

21. In cases of disputed property where local investigation 
is required, an Aumin chosen by consent of both parties is 
to decide and the Collector is to see that no delay or extra- 
ordinary expense is incurred. , 

22. Disputed accounts, csntracts, &c. recommended to be 
submitted to arbitrators to be chosen by the parties. These 
will not be paid for the service, but the Collector's to encourage 
them by any means to perform it. 

23. Questions concerning Inheritance, Marriage, Caste, to 
be invariably settled agreeably to the cjictates of the Koran or 

24. The decree of the Provincial Dewannee Adaulut to be 
final for causes not exceeding 500 r. in value. 

25. The Court may award costs. 




26. Groundless appeals are to be punishable by enhanced 
costs, the pi'oceeds to go to the Respondent. 

27. Complete Records to be kept and transmitted from the 
Pboujdaree Adaulut to the Nizamut Sudder Adaulut twice per 
nxensem. < 

28. The Collector to kee^ an abstract. 

29. The authority of the Phoujdaree A(Jaulut may punish 
by flogging, imprisonment, road-work, and fines, but not by 
capital punishment. 

30. Petty misdemeanours committed by persons whose 
Rank, Caste or Station exempts them from corporal punish- 
ment may be fined up to 100 r. in the Pkoujdaree Adaulut. 

31. Forfeiture and confiscation of convicted felons can only 
be pronounced by the Sudder Nizamut Adaulut. 

32. Phoujdaree Bazee Jumma is abolished, such offences to 
be punished by stripes or damages to the party injured. 

33. The Cauzee, Muftee, &g are to receive monthly salarie/? 
in lieu of fees. *" " 

34. The office of Yetasaub is abolished, to be replaced by 
two deputies for the Cauzee and Muftee, to be from the dis-, 
trict within one day's journey of the ryots. 

35. Dacoits are to be executed in their own villages, which 
shall be fined and their families made slaves of the State. 

36. Tannadars and Pykes to be dismissed for neglect and 
encouraged by rewards of land, payment or privileges. 

37. Collectors authorized to make further local regulations 
which are to be reported to the Committee of Circuit for their 
sanction, and particularly to prevent the servants of the Courts 
from levying fees or fines. 

No. 2. The Hew Calcutta Courts of Justice of 1772. 
Bengal Letters, vol. xi, p. 229 ; Revenue Department. 

January 6, 1773. 

Para. 5. In our former addresf of this season we had the 
honor to lay before you a Plan for the Administration of 
Justice throughout the Country and for fbrming Judicial 
Courts in each Province, from whose decrees an Appeal should 
lay [sic] immediately to Calcutta. We have since established 
the Courts of Justice at the Presidency, the Nizamut and the 
Sudder Dewanni. * 

Para. 6. The former has been fixed at this place agreeably 
to our original intention of confirming the decrees of the 
inferior, Provincial and Criminal Courts, and the greatest care 


has' been taken in selecting persons the most able and con- 
versant in the Mahometan Laws to sit as judges ir» this Court. 
Their appointment has been confirmed by sunnuds from the 
Nabob, for the sake of preserving the ancient aijd constitu- 
tional forms of the country Governmelit, and, their sentence 
in capital cases will be transmitted to him for a warrant idr 
execution. • 

At another period the continuance of* these forms might 
have been considered as too great a concession to the Nabob 
and a dangerous acknowledgement of his supremacy, but 
these objections can have no weight at present as the Nabob 
is entirely under the control of Government, and in case any 
inconvenience should be found to arise from it, the institution 
may be easily altered.. 

(At Calcutta.) The Inferior Courts are formed as nearly as 
circumstances would admit on the model of those in the Pro- 
vinces, with the addition of som^ officers which the extent and 
importance of their jurisdiction reijuired. As the late judicial 
Court of Cutcheri is by this establishment become unneces- 
sary it has been abolished and the jurisdiction of the Dewanni 
Adaulut for matters of Property in the first instance has been 
extended over the City of Calcutta and the 24 Pergunnahs. . . . 

The removal of the Khalsa with its several offices to Cal- 
cutta has, as we foresaw, tended greatly to the increase of 
the inhabitants, who being composed of different nations and 
religions are mor^ liable to disorders and more difficult to 
restrain. The Natives from living under the immediate pro- 
tection and freedom of the English Government gradually 
acquire an independent and untractable spirit, while the many 
European and other foreigners without families or homes who 
crowd our streets are continually guilty of excesses and 
irregularities. * 

To provide a remedy for these evils we have substituted 
a Phouzdari Adaulut nearly similar to the Zemindari Court, 
which is now abohshed, for the trial of all crimes and misde- 
meanours, in which a Memtj^er of your Boafd is to preside in 
rotation, and we hope from his high rank in your service that 
his decisions wil>be attended to with deference»l?y the Natives, 
at the same time that his authority as Justice of the Peace puts 
him in a situation to enforce the laws of England, where Euro- 
peans are concerned, without any delay or inconvenience. 
For his assistance we have aWded a subsidiary Court, to take 
cognizance of sucji offences as may not require the presence of 
the President. 

The estabhshment of these several Courts and the Regula- 



tions we have circulated throughout the Country will,' we 
hope, be pnoductive of the desired effect by introducing by 
degrees a general system of free and impartial Justice. 


«• ' No. 3. The Mayor's Court. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 93 ; Public Dfpartment. 

November 10, 1773. 

Para. 27. Rajah Kissen Chund, the Zemindar of Nuddea, 
being at the Presidency, to which he was summoned on the 
business of his Zemindari, was arrested ip. the public streets by 
a writ of the Mayor's Court at the suit of Mr. Lushington. 

Para. 28. As this was the first instance in our knowledge of 
any of the Rajahs under the Country Government being made 
amenable to our British Courts it became an object of our 

After duly considering tiie Charter of Justice we declined 
coming to an opinion on the competency of the Court, reflect- 
ing that this point might come before us in our judicial^ 
capacity by way of Appeal. 

But we thought it highly incumbent on us to call Mr. Lush- 
ington to account for a step so unprecedented and so detri- 
mental in its tendency to the Company's interest. Were the 
Zemindars subject to be arrested on their attendance at the 
Khalsa for the business of their districts, tl^e collections must 
suffer and in cases of tedious confinement the whole year's 
revenue might be lost. Besides we can easily suppose, know- 
ing the intrigues of these men, that collusive suits against 
them might be instigated by themselves and undertaken to 
serve as pretexts for the deficiencies and non-payment of their 
arrears. t.^ 

On these grounds we judged that Mr. Lushington had acted 
in a most unjustifiable as well as unprecedented manner, pre- 
ferring in this instance his private interest in a matter of small 
importance to him, to that of h'ls^ employers, and in contempt 
of the authority of this government without any previous 
application to^them seeking redress in a nev/ channel whiph 
could not fail to create confusion in the Administration of the 

Para. 29. Mr. Lushington being called upon endeavoured to 
justify the act . . . as if they had dismissed a servant for having 
recourse to the laws of his country as Mr. Lyshington himself 
expressed on the occasion in the presence of the Board. We 
contented ourselves with recording our sense of his conduct 



arid reporting the whole to you that you might see what a dis- 
agreeable dilemma the conduct of one of your servants has 
brought upon your affairs — the credit and justice of your 
Administration. , * 

Para. 30. To prevent further inconvenience*accruing to the 
public^ business from others following the example of Mr. 
Lushington, as the*Rajah we understood Jabored under many 
other Incumbrances, we resolved to give bail for his standing 
suit and ordered him to return to his province. Your explicit 
opinion and orders will be highly necessary for our future 
guidance in such cases. In the meantime we have published 
a proclamation forbMding all your servants under pain of 
dismission to lend money to the Zemindars under any pre- 
tence whatsoever and' requiring all persons who have claims 
against them to recur to the ordinary Courts of the Country 
for Justice. 

No. 4. Hastings's letter to the Revenue Board on the subject of 
Criminal Law. 


Bengal Revenue Consultations, 4, Range 49, vol. 41, p. 2762. 

August 3, 1773. 

Para. 2. It was not without much difficulty and great delay 
that I could prevail upon the officers of the Nizamut Adaulut 
to open their new, Court, into which at their earnest solicita- 
tion I went in person to introduce them. I should have been 
better pleased to have dispensed with this ceremony, from 
a desire of precluding every appearance of the influence of our 
Government in the exercise of so sacred a charge. On the 
same principle^ I have also cautiously abstained from every 
act of authority over that Court except in 'requiring them to 
attend to their functions and in looking over their sentejices, 
on which, though I have ventured to offer them my opinion 
and supported it by the strongest arguments which occurred 
to me, yet I have always left* them at full liberty to follow the 
unbiassed dictates of their own judgements ; a delicacy which 
I ^steem due to*the characters of the persons' who preside in 
that department, and which the deference too servilely paid to 
authority in this despotic country renders yet more requisite 
in the proceedings of a Court of Judicature professedly acting 
in obedience to the strict letter of the law. As the decrees of 
the Sudder Adaulut were likely to become a precedent for all 
future cases to which they might be applied, I was at some 
pains and employed much time in revising them in the 



presence of the Darogo. Such of its decrees as appeared to'me 
disproportioiiate to the offences committed, or liable in their 
effects to prove hurtful to the peace and good order of society, 
I .ventured to recommend to the Court for their reconsidera- 
tion. The proceedings were returned to me, some with the 
former sentences confirmed and others with the different inter- 
pretations of the law annexed to them, an^i a reference' to the 
Nazim for his final 'decision upon them. They were accord- 
ingly transmitted to the Nabob by the Darogo of the Adaulut 
and accompanied by a letter from myself requesting that he 
would affix his warrant to them without more delay. At the 
same time I sent to Mr. Middleton an abstract of the Proceed- 
ings with my own opinion and remarks upon it, and desired 
him to communicate them to the Begum, before the sentences 
should receive the Nabob's warrant for their execution. . . . 

I again repeat that the establishment is yet but in its 
infancy, and that with every other innovation it is liable t^o 
unavoidable delays until the first difficulties are removed and 
a channel opened for a regular and uninterrupted progress. 



The term dacoit in its common acceptation is too gener- 
ously applied to robbers of every denomination, but properly 
belongs only to robbers on the highway, and especially to 
such as make it their profession, of which 'there are many in 
the woody parts of the district of Dacca, and in the frontiers of 
the province ; a race of outlaws who live from father to son 
in a state of warfare against society, plundering and burning 
villages and murdering the inhabitants. These were intended 
by the Board in Jhe 35th article of their Regulations, which 
declared that all such offenders shall suffer death, and their 
Families be condemned to perpetual slavery. 

Severe and unjust as this ordinance may seem I am con- 
vinced that nothi,rig less than the terror of such a punishment 
will be sufficient to prevail againtt an evil which has obtained 
the sanction and force of hereditary practice, under the almost 
avowed protedtion both of the Zemindars of'the Country and 
the first officers of the Government. Yet if a careful distinc- 
tion be not made, the ryot who, impelled by strong necessity 
in a single instance, invades the property of his neighbour, will 
with his family fall a sacrifice to this law and be blended in 
one common fate with the professed Dacoit'or murderer. In 
the Foujdari trials nothing appears but the circumstances of 
the robbery for which the prisoner is arraigned. That he is 



a Dacoit is taken upon presumption and all the world are his 
enemies. ' 

The Moulavies in the Provincial Courts refuse to pass 
sentence of death on Dacoits unless the robbery committed 
by them has been attended with murder. They rest they- 
opinion on the express laws of the Coran, which is the infallible 
guide of their decisions. The Courf of Nizamut under whose 
review the trials pass, and whose province it is to prepare the 
Fettwas for the final Sentence and Warrant of the Nizam, 
being equally bound to follow the Mohametan Law, confirm 
the Judgement of the Provincial Court. The Mohametan Law 
is founded on the mos3t lenient principle and an abhorrence of 
bloodshed. This often obliges the Sovereign to interpose to 
prevent the guilty from escaping with impunity and to strike 
at the root of such disorders as the law will not reach. I mean 
only ... to show that it is equally necessary and conformable 
t(] custom for the Sovereign power to depart in extraordinary 
cases from the strict letter of the law, and to recommend the 
same practice in the cases now before us. 
, I offer it therefore as my opinion that the punishment 
decreed by this Government against professed and notorious 
robbers be literally enforced, and where they differ from the 
sentences of the Adaulut, that they be superadded to them 
by an immediate act of Government. That every convicted 
felon and murderer not condemned to death by the sentence of 
the Adaulut and -jvery criminal who has already been sen- 
tenced to work during life on the roads, or to suffer perpetual 
imprisonment, be sold for slaves or transported as such to the 
Company's establishment at Ft. Marlborough, and that this 
Regulation be carried into execution by the immediate orders 
of the Board or by an officer instituted for that purpose in 
virtue of a General Order or Commission from the Nazim. 

By this means the Government will be released from a h,^avy ' 
expense in erecting prisons, keeping guards in monthly pay, 
and in the maintenance of accymulating crowds of prisoners. 
The sale of the Convicts will.%raise a considerable fund if these 
disorders continue, and if not the effect will be still more bene- 
ficial. The comrhunity will suffer no loss by tHe want of such 
troublesome members, and the punishment will operate as an 
example more forcible and useful than imprisonment, fines or 
mutilation ; the former to a people addicted to their ease and 
who see in such a (penalty) 'only an exemption from the 
necessity of daily labor, loses much of its terror, fines fall with 
unequal weight on the wealthy and indigent : they are unfelt 
by the first, they prove equivalent to utter ruin and perpetual 



imprisonment to the last, and mutilation, which is too common 
a sentence *-of the Mohametan Courts, though it may deter , 
others, yet renders the criminal a burden to the public, and 
imposes on him the necessity of persevering in the crimes 
V/hich it was rr.eant to repress. 

I beg leave to subjoin ^he following Queres for you^ deter- 
mination as they have occurred to me in^ the proceedings of 
the Adaulut already referred to. I have annexed my opinion 
to each. 

I. [Whether the Government shall intervene as above ?] 

N.B. — Although we propose to leave the Nazim the final judge 
in all Criminal Cases, and the Officers of his Court to proceed 
according to their own laws, forms and opinions, independent of 
the controul of this Government, yet many cases may happen in 
which an invariable observance of this rule may prove of dangerous 
consequence to the power by which the Government of this Coun- 
try is held, and to the peace and security of the inhabitants. 
Wherever such cases happen the remedy can only be obtained 
from those in whom the sovereign power exists. It is on these 
that the inhabitants depend for their protection and for the redress 
of all their grievances, and they have a right to the accomplishment 
of their expectation of which no treaties nor casuistical distinction^ 
can deprive them. If therefore the powers of the Nizamut cannot 
answer these salutary purposes or by an abuse of them, which is 
too much to be apprehended from the present reduced state of the 
Nizam, and the little interest he has in the general welfare of the 
Country, shall become hurtful to it, I conceive it to be strictly 
conformable to Justice and Reason to interpose the authority or 
influence of the Company, who as Dewan haVe an interest in the 
welfare of the country and as the governing power have equally 
a right and obligation to maintain it. 

I am therefore of opinion that wherever it shall be found neces- 
sary to supersede the authority of the Nizam to supply the defi- 
ciencies or to correct the irregularities of his Courts, it is the dutj/ 
of this Government to apply such means as in -their judgement 
shall best promote the due course and ends of Justice, but that this 
license ought never to be used without an absolute necessity, and 
after the most solemn deliberation. 

In many cases it may not be diflScult to obtain the Nabob's 
warrant for sucl^^ deviations f rora the ordinary practice as may be 
requisite, and it were to be wist.ed that they could always be 
enforced by his authority, but I see so many ill consequences to 
which this \YCuld be liable both from his ascent and from his 
refusal that I am rather inclined to propose that every act of this 
kind be superadded to his sentence by our own Government. 

Although this is my opinion upon the question as it respects the 
rights of Justice and the good of the people, I am sorry to add that 
every argument of personal cofisideration strongly opposes it, 
having but too much reason to apprehend that while the popular 
current prevails which overruns every sentiment of candor 
towards the Company and its agents, it will be dangerous both to 
our character and fortunes to move a step beyond the plain and 



Waten line, and that laudable as our intentions were, we have 
already done too much. My duty compels me to offpr the advice 
which I have given and to that I postpone every other considera- 

II. [Whether the instrument used, if not one * formed 
for shedding blood should disculpate the rnurderer, as ill 
Mohametan Law ?] 

N.B. — If the intention of murder be cleariy proved, no distinc- 
tion should be made with respect to the weapon by which the 
crime was perpetrated. The murderer should ^suffer death and 
the fine be remitted. I am justified in this opinion by good 
authority even among the Mussulman, although .their practice is 
against it. For a pnpof of the inequality and injustice of the 
decisions founded on this strange distinction, I beg leave to quote 
an instance. A man held the head of a child under water till it 
was suffocated and made a prize of her clothes and the little orna- 
ments of silver which she wore ; it was evident that his object was 
robbery and murder the means both of perpetrating and concealing 
it. There is too much cause also to suspect the extraordinary 
•manner in which the murder wr<s committed was suggested by the 
distinction made by the law in question, by which he was liable to 
no severe (r) retribution than for simple robbery, whereas he 
, would have been sentenced to suffer death had he killed the 
deceased with a knife or sword, although he might have been 
impelled to it by sudden passion and not premeditated design. 
Yet for this horrid and deliberate act he is pronounced guilty of 
manslaughter only and condemned to pay the price of blood 
which seems invariably fixed at the sum of 3,333" 5" 4. 

III. [Concerning Dacoity. A special office recommended 
to deal with it.] 

IV. Whether the privilege granted by the Mohametan law 
to sons or next of kin to pardon the murderer of their parents 
or kinsmen shall be allowed to continue in practice 

• N.B. — This law, though enacted by the highest authority which 
the professors bi the Mohametan Faith can acimowledge, appears 
to be of barbarous construction and contrary to the first principle 
of Civil society, by which the State acquires an interest in e^very 
member who composes it and a right in his security. It is a law 
which if rigidly observed would put the life of every parent in the 
hands of his son, and by its enects on weak 'and timid minds, 
which is the general charact<?r of the natives of Bengal, would 
afford a kind of pre-assurance of impunity to those who were 
djisposed to becolhe obnoxious to it. 

V. Whether the law which enjoins children or nearest of 
kin to the person deceased to execute the sentence passed on 
the murderers . . . shall be peiyTiitted tox:ontinue } 

N.B. — This law, though supposed to be of the same divine origin, 
is yet more barbarous than the former and in its consequences 
more impotent. It would be difficult to put a case in which' the 
absurdity of it should be more strongly illustrated than in one 



now before us, of a Mother condemned to perish by the hands of 
her own cl^ildren for the murder of her husband. Their age is not 
recorded, but by the circumstances which appear in the Proceed- « 
ings they appear to be very young. They have pardoned their 

.Mother. T^hey would have deserved death themselves if they had 
been so utterly devoid of every feeling of humanity, as to have been 

* able to administer it to her who gave them Life. I am of opinion 
that the Courts of Justict should be interdicted from pacsing so 
horrid a sentence by an Edict of the Nazim, irf he will be persuaded 
to it, by the Government if he refuses. 

VI. Whether* Fines inflicted for manslaughter shall be pro- 
portioned to the nature of the crime, as the Mohametan Law 
seems to intend, or both to the nature and degree of the crime 
and to the substance and means of the criminal ? 

N.B. — Both. If the fine exceeds the ;neans of the criminal, it 
must deprive the State of his services and prove a heavier punish- 
ment than the law has decreed him. 

VII. Whether the Fines shall be paid to the Nazim, or be 
taken by the Company as'Dewans, or whether they shall nOt 
be set apart as a fund for the maintenance of the Courts and 
Officers of Justice, and for the restitution of the losses sus- 
tained by the inhabitants from Dacoits or thieves } * 

N.B. — It may be dangerous to admit of such a right in the 
Nazim. It cannot be better or more equitably employed than for 
the uses expressed in the concluding terms of the question. 

Although it was incumbent on me to deliver my own opinion 
upon the above references, while I requested that of the Board, 
I have offered it with diffidence, and I confess with some 
reluctance, knowing the objections to which every kind of 
innovation is liable, but more especially in the established 
laws, or forms of Justice. But I conceive that the points 
which I have offered to your consideration will be found i^i 
reality not so much to regard the laws in being as the want of 
them, a law which defeats its own ends and operations being 
scarce better than none. 

[Messrs. Lambert and G. V^nsittart, consulted, concur.] 


Letter of Hastings to Middleton, Resident at Murshidabad, 
enclosing Nizamut records. © 

Bengal Revenue Consultations, 4, Range 49, vol. 41, p. 2786. 

I must beg your leave td Vrouble you with a list of the 
trials for crimes at Moorshedabad and Kishen nagur which 
have been submitted to the review of the Officers of the 
Nizamut Adaulut, and I have subjoined to each sentence the 



opihion I have formed upon reviewing the trials. I wish you 
would read over the trials and if you agree with me recom- 
mend this point to the Begum. I have as much of the milk of 
human kindness as she can have thoug^h a woman^, and follow 
that natural incentive, as well as the di'ctates o^ Reason, whefi 
I rather choose to put a murderer to death than let him li>^e 
to per|I)etrate more murders. In t^e remarks upon the trials 
you will observe I ?iave proposed the acqjdittal of two persons 
adjudged to pay the price of blood, viz. Cawn Mahomed for 
striking his slave by which she died and Jacoob for killing 
a man whom he found in his apartment at an unreasonable 
hour and struck on \he immediate alarm which he received 
from such an appearance on waking from sleep . . . both 
appeared to be perfecUy innocent. 

On perusing the trials I am struck with surprise to observe, 
that almost every malefactor confesses himself guilty of the 
crime for which he is tried, although he thereby subjects 
h'imself to the loss of life. Ajythis^is a circumstance so extra- 
ordinary in itself, and so very repugnant to the principle of 
self-interest by which mankind in general are actuated, I can- 
not help mentioning it in hopes of obtaining from you some 
account of the manner in which this confession is procured, 
whether it is not made till after conviction, whether extorted, 
or whether won by fair promises of forgiveness. 

I am &c.. 

Warren Hastings. 

Ft. William. 
May 24, 1773. 

» No. 5. Inferior Courts. 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 387 ; Revenue department. 

March 15, 1774. ^ ' 

Para. 16. In our former advices we acquainted you with the 
measures we had taken for the constitution 'of a more regular 
administration of justice in the province of Bengal, by the 
establishment of* courts in every district with ^an appeal from 
their decisions to the President and Council. These several 
Courts have been in general conducted with regularity and 
attention. They are no doubt liable to those imperfections 
which attend every new institution, And whatever progress 
may have been m^de towards the introduction of that uniform 
and equal administration of justice whiclj we have atten^pted 
to establish we are sensible that much yet remains to be done. 



Para. 17. The regulations we have made are few and in- 
tended chie^y to give method to the procedure of the different 
Courts ; to abolish the jurisdiction formerly assumed by 
individuals, and to secure to the inhabitants a more ready 
access to redress. 

Para. 18. In order to convey to you an idea of the manner 
in which the abstracts of t<lie proceedings of the inferior 'Courts 
are kept we have now the honor to forwar6i in the bookpacket 
those for the Court established in Calcutta as it is by far the 
most important." We have every reason to believe that it has 
been conducted with strict integrity and with a regularity and 
despatch which do credit to Mr. Rous w^ho presides in it. 

Para. 19. We have also the pleasure to lay before you the 
proceedings of the Court established a,t Calcutta for appeals 
from the provincial judicatories and held by 3 members of the 
Council. In this department also we think it incumbent upon 
us to take notice of the regularity and application of Mr. Bogle, 
the Clerk of that Court, \»>hbn?« the President represents ^s 
equally useful and indefatigable in the records and proceed- 
ings of the Nizamut Adaulut committed to his Charge. 

Para. 20. Although the execution of the Penal Laws in this 
country is professedly the province of the Nabob, and we 
therefore wished as much as possible to avoid any apparent 
interposition on this subject, yet the importance of a steady 
and vigorous execution of justice, to the peace and security of 
the people, and the consideration of the youth and inexperi- 
ence of the Nabob which exposed him to an improper influence 
from the officers of his Court has rendered it necessary that we 
should superintend this department of Government. Accord- 
ing to the institution of the Courts for the trial of criminals 
their proceedings are transmitted and pass under the revisal 
of the Supreme Ccurt in Calcutta, to which it belongs to pass 
sentences in all capital cases, which is afterwards laid before 
the Na :30b for his warrant of execution. This process from 
the ne^^ligence or artifice of the servants of the Nabob gave 
occasion to so many delays, tHat the prisons were filled with 
criminals and the suspension of justice gave encouragement to 
crimes, at the s^me time that it was impossible with the utmost 
vigilance to trace every obstacle to its source, or to remove it 
by repeated applications to the Nabob and Begum. ... To 
remedy these evils, no expedient appeared so effectual as that 
recommended by the' PresidenV for the appointment of a 
Deputy on the part of the Nabob who should reside in Calcutta, 
in or^er to sign and expedite warrants in his name, and Sudder 
ul Hue Cawn, the President of the Supreme Mohametan 




Court, has been invested on the President's recommendation 
^ with the necessary powers from the Nabob for t*his purpose. 
This appointment together with the attention of the President 
to whose charge the control and revisjoDt of this 'Departmer,t 
has been solely entrusted, is likely to procure the prompt aad 
vigorous execution of Justice. ^ 

[Signed b^^] Warren Hastwgs 
W. Aldersey 
P. M. Dacres ^ ^ 
J. Lawrell 
. H. Goodwin 
, J. Graham 

^ G. Vansittart 

[The first three constitute the Select Committee.] 

No. 6. Hastings's views on Native Law. 
^ [A private letter to the Directors.] 

Bengal Letters, vol. xii, p. 407. 

March 24, 1774. 

You have been informed by the public Letter from the 
Revenue Department of the progress which has been made by 
the Pundits or Brahmins whom the Board had employed in 
compiling from the books of their law a code which might 
serve as a guide to our Dewanni Courts and we transmitted to 
you in the Packet from that office as a specimen of the pro- 
jected work an English Translation of the first chapter. I am 
indebted to thej ability and industry of the translator for the 
means of furnishing you with a second chSpter which I am 
desirous of transmitting to you, as it comprehends the most 
important subject of their laws, the distribution of property by 
inheritance. From the labors pf a people however intelligent 
whose studies have been conftned to the narrow circle of their 
own rehgion, and the decrees founded upon its superstitions 
and whose discus:5ions in the search of Truth haVe wanted that 
lively aid which it can only derive from a free exertion of the 
understanding and an opposition of opinions, a perfect system 
of jurisprudence is not to be expected. ,Yet if it shall be found 
to contain nothing hurtful to *the authority of Government or 
to the interests of Society and is consonant to the ideas, 
manners and inclinations of the people for whose use 'it is 
intended, I presume that on these grounds it will be preferable 

1526.9 y 




\ 338 JUSTICE 

to any which even a superior wisdom could substitute in' its 
room. It i^from this conviction and from an apprehension 
of the effects which a contrary opinion might produce, that 
I, have been* so earnest in transmitting these sheets for your 
information, as<they will afford at least a proof that the people 
of this country do not require our aid to furnish them with 
a rule for their conduct, or a standard for Jheir property. 

I have ventured tb say thus much on a subject that may 
possibly appear ,^0 have been irregularly obtruded upon your 
notice, because reports have a long time prevailed, and been 
communicated ,to us by the best of private authority, of an 
intention to frame new courts, and foifns of Judicature, for 
the inhabitants of these provinces. Whatever foundation 
these reports may have in truth, or -whatever may be the 
extent or principles of the jurisdiction herein supposed, I can- 
not but express my hope, that nothing of this kind may be 
finally concluded without ^n opportunity being given to the 
members of your Administration to communicate such ideas 
as their experience may suggest to them ; and this I conceive 
to be my duty from the consideration of the hurtful effects 
which an unadvised system might possibly produce to the 
quiet of the people and the security of your revenue. 




Abuses 14 police authority of 
Zemindar*liable to, 2j system of 
advances open to, 37 abuses of 
absentee councillors, 41 of inland 
trade, 49 of dustuk, 117 reform 
of abuses proposed, 135 abuses 
censured, 142-3 growth of abuses. 
Directors' summary of, 2^ abuses 
reformed, 239, 298 abuse of power 
by Kanungoes, 

Abwab, extra charges lewed by 
revenue officers: 8, 13, 16, 159 
Abwab faujdari. 

Accountant-general of the Di- 
WANi : 296 Croftes (q. v.) ap- 
f)ointed. • 

Adalut, Adaulut, Adawlut, court 
of justice ; Sadr Adalut, court of 

^ appeal ; Diwani Adalut, court 

* of civil law ; Faujdari Adalut, 
court of criminal law and police ; 
II, 309-14. 324-30- 

Affleck, captain of the boat 
Panther {vide Orme, Catalogue of 
MSS., S. C. Hill) : 137. 

Afghan, a branch of the Turco- 
Iranian race: 3, 26^ $4, 169. 

Aghan, Augun, ninth month of the 
Hindu year, November-Decem- 
ber : 313. 

Akbar, founder of the Mogul Em- 
pire, 1 556-1605 : 9, 10, 20. 

Akbarnagar, former capital of 
Bengal. » 

Alam : see Shah Alam. 

Aldersey, William : arrived at 
Calcutta in May 1765, import- 
warehouse-keeper in 1767, Chief 
at Kasimbazar from 1769 to 
1770, fourth in Council, head of^ 
the Committee of Commerce, 
Comptroller of the Investment : 
2:^8, 256, 274, 337. ' 

Aleppo, 224. 

Alexander, James : arrived at 
Calcutta in 1767, chief of the 
Revenue Board at Murshidabad 
in 1772 : 275. * 

Ali Vardi Khan, Nawab of Bengal 
1740-56 : 22, 25, 85*. 

Allahabad, Elliabad, Illahabad, 
town and province in Oudh : 53, 


55#6i, 116 granted to Qudh, 128, 
166, 227 trade route. 
Amedroy, I^iwan of Siraj-ud-Daula : 

Americans, 316; 322. 

Amil, AUMilL, amildar, a native 
revenue collectpr: 11, 71, 76-7, 
81, 86-7, 280-1, 287. 

Amin, aumeen, agent, native re- 
venue officer : 25 5, 265, 281, 283, 
292, 325. 

Amirabad : (lY pargana containing 
the site of Calcutta ; the name has 
disappeared ; (2) small district in 
» Dacca : 31 note. 

Am\?lnama, lease or agreement 
made with a farmer of rents : 260 . 

Amyatt, Peter : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1743, accountant and 
second at Fort William in 1762 : 

Anderson, David : arrived in Cal- 
cutta 1767, Persian translator to 
the Resident at Murshidabad 
1773: 292. 

Arabia, Arabs, 19, 20. 

Arak, arrack, spirit made from 
cane-molasses or rice. 

Arbitration : 88 supervisors to 
recommend, 273 in caste disputes, 
314, 315 difficulties of. 

Arcot, Nawab of, Mohamed Ali 
Khan : 103 Hastings negotiates 
with, 127. ^ 

Armenia, Armenian : 22, 23 im- 
portant traders, 26 general, 31, 
33 allies of Englis^, 52 up coun- 
try, 60 farmer, 82-3 traders. 
^Arrears of rents, 138, 262. 

Artillery, 34.* 

' Asia,' East India Company's ship, 

AsiN, AssiN, the seventh month of 
the Hindu year, September-Octo- 
ber : 313. 

Assam, district to north-east of 
Bengal; 2. 

'Assay Master, placed under the 
Committee of Accounts : 133. 

Assessment: 275 difficulty of. See 
also Todai»Mal. 

Auction of -lands, 260, 264, 281. 



Auditor of Revenues, office held 
by members of Council alter- 
nating weekly : 205,295. 

AuMEEN : see Amin. 

^UMiL : see Aoail. ^ 

AuRANG, AURUNG,_East India Com- 
'pany's factory for purchase on 
advances of native piece-gq<)ds : 
36, 39, 76, 156 proposed footing 
of, 238 correspondence with, 253 
remittances to. 

AuRANGZEB, Mogul cmpcror, 1658- 
1707 : 10, 30, 40. ^ 

Ayout (cf . ayati, ayoti, term used in 
the Deccan for an inspector of 
weights and measures), 252. 

Baber, Edward : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1763, assistant in Secre- 
tary's Secret Department in 1765, 
Sub-Secretary to the Select C0E9- 
mittee in 1766, Assistant- Secre- 
tary and Postmaster in 1767, 
Secretary and Deputy-Sheriff in 
1768-9, Chief at Midnapur in 
1770 : 248, 297. 

Baboo, a term of respect for a 
native of distinction. 

Baginiss Guat (Gaut), 214. 

Bahadur, title affixed commonly 
to names of European officers. 

Bahar : see Bihar. 

Baikanthpur : see Bycunpore. 

Bakhtyar, Khilji, deputy of Ma- 
homed Ghori : 2. 

Bail, 328. 

Baisakh, Byzack, Hindu name of 
a month in spring, April-May : 2 . 

Bakhshi, buxey, bucshbunder, 
paymaster, under the Mogul sys- 
tem often the commander-in- 
Chief : 35 note, 133 under Com- 
mittee of Accounts, 137, 204, 273 
officer of Customs at Hugli. 

Balambangan, island in the Pacific,, 
situated fifteen fniles north-easi 
of the north point of Borneo (see 
'Ddlvym.^le'sRef'efiory, ii . i o) : 129. 

Balasore, towfi'in Bengal, capital 
of Orissa, subordinate factory of 
the East India Company : 2, 23, 
30. 36. 93. 

Balwant or BuLWANT ^iNG, Raja 
of Benares 1739-70, father of* 
Chet Sing : 187. 

Bamboo, 308. 

Ban'k, 234, 253. ' 

Banyan, banya, bunya, banian. 

a Hindu trader, shopkeeper, or 
money-lender ; agents to Euro- 
peans : 42 Fryer's account of, 52, 
90, 148 virtual tyrants of Bengal, 
151 farmer's fear of, 229 salt pro- 
fits of, 2 59 Hastings's estimate of, 
261, 270 not to farm, 274, 306. 

Barja, selUng goods by fo^ce : 50. 

Barker, Sjr Robert f arrived in 
India 1754, served in Carnatic till 
1765, arrived in Calcutta May 3, 
1 76 5 .with rank of Colonel ; General 
C.-in-C. 1770-3, resigned 1775 : 
123, 153 quarrels with Council, 
176-7 /.insubordination of, 181, 

1 86. ' 

Barwell, Richard : arrived in 
Calcuftta in June 1758, assistant 
in Accountant's office in 1763, 
Resident at Malda 1765, Chief at 
Patna 1771, Chief at Dacca, Col- 
lector at Luckipore and Sylhet 
V. 177 z, member of Council : 1^,5, 
176 character and opposition of, 
194, 201 obstructs business, 204 
appointed to Dacca, 263, 274,280. 

Bassein, town near Bombay, once 
a Portuguese settlement : 128. 

Batson, Stanlake : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1746, Chief at Kasim- 
bazar in 1762 : 97. 

Batta : (i) difference or rate of 
exchange ; discount on short 
weight or, uncurrent rupee ; (2) 
an extra allowance made to 
officers for special service : 35, 
56, 161, 164. 

Baxee or Bazee Jumma {bazi = 
miscellaneous), fines for petty 
offences : 260-1, 326 Faujd?ri 

Becher, Richard : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1743, Chief at Dacca in 

1756, import - warehouse - keeper 

1757, Resident at Murshidabad 
1769 : 65, 82, 89, 323. 

Beegah : see Bigha. 
'Beerbhum : see Birbhum. 

Begum {see Munni Begum), a lady 
of rank. * 

Benares, Banaras, city and' dis- 
trict in Oudh, a religious centre : 
12, 23, 54, 170 Hastings's visits,' 

187, 227 route to Upper India. 

* Bencoolen, or Fort Marlborough 

Bengali, Hifidu inhabitants of Ben- 
gal : 26 unwarhke, 156 of gentle 
temper, 285 language, 325 Hti- 



gi?)us, 327 English influence on 
Bengali character. 

Berhampur, Burrampore, town 
five miles below Murshidabad on 
Bhagirathi R. : 125. 

BEffeL-NUT, leaf of Piper betel, 
chewed with dried areca-nut, 

. thence called betel-nut : 19, 50, 
58-60,* 13P trade to be open, 232, 
244 duties on betdl-nuts con- 
tinued, 251, 308. 

Bhadon, Bhadoom, the fifth month 
of the Hindu year, August-Sep- 
tember : 313. 

Bhagalpur> Boglepore, town on 
the Ganges in the old ^strict of 
Monghir ; now name of district 
also : 180, 213. 

Bhandari, bundwarry, \. store- 
keeper, a steward. 

Bhirbhum : see Birbhum. 

Bhonsla, Maratha Chief of Nagpur; 
•said to be the name of Sivaji's 
family or caste : 1 1 5 . * 

Bhutan, Boutan, a state in the 
Eastern Himalayas : 178, 180, 

• 213-14 operations against Bhu- 
tanese, 216, 303. 

Bhuyan, a chief or headman hold- 
ing by military service. 

BiGHA, BEEGAH, a native measure of 
land varying in different parts of 
India ; in Bengal it is one-third 
of an acre : 8 note, 48. 

Bihar, Behar, Beyh^^r, province 
lying betwen Bengal and Oudh : 
2-3 races in, 20 castes in, 23 old 
city of, 24, 36 factory at, 68, 1 1 7 
Resident for, 139 under Doolu- 

^ bram, 256, 278-9 leases in, 302 

. revenues of. 

Bills of Exchange, 137, 235. 

Birbhum, Bebrbhum, Bhirbhum, . 
a district lying due north of 
Burdwan in Bengal: 180, 202 
settlement of, 218, 245 custom- 
houses in, 256 desolation in, 274. * 

BissENPOOR, north-western district 
of Burdwan {vide Rennell's Ben- 
gal Atlas) : 202 settlement of, 
:aj5 custom-houses retained in, 

Black Hole of Calcutta, 67. 

BoDDAM, Thomas : arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1743, Writer, tenth in Coun-^ , 
cil. Resident at Bulramgurry in 
1757. appointed oto Balasore, 
military storekeeper in 1758 : 

Bogle, George : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1770, assistant in the 
Select Committee'^ office in 1772, 
Clerk of the Sadr Diwani in 1774 : 

Boglep©ri^: see Bhigalpur. •» 

Bolts, William, 1740 ?-i8o8 :,a 
Dutch adventurer in the service 
of*the East India Company from 
1759 to 1766, deported in 1768, 
wrote attacks on the Bengal 
Government" 42, 113, 139. 

Bombay, I^residency on the west 
coast of India: 31, 115, 170 
financial dependence of Bombay 
on Bengal, 318. 

Bond Debts, 219, 224. 

BouGHTON, Dr. Gabriel : surgeon 
of the East India Company's ship 
Hopewell ; ^employed by Shuja 
Sultan, who was Governor of Ben- 
gal from 1639 to 1660 : 30. 

BojJLTON, Chairman of the Court of 
Directors in 1773-4: 303. 

BouTAN : see Bhutan. 

Bowey, William, Deputy Assistant 
in the East India Company's 
Marine at Fort William May 31, 
1771 : 139. 

Brahmanism, Brahmins, the wor- 
ship and priests of Brahma : 4, 
I7» 337. 

Bridgeman, James, Chief of factory 
at Hugh in 165 1 : 30. 

Brooke, Robert : Ensign in service 
of East India Company 1764, 
Captain 1767, resigned 1775 : 
180, 213, 217. 

Browne, James : (probably) Cadet 
in East India Company's service 
in 1765, Lieutenant in 1767, Cap- 
tain in 1 77 i^Major in 1 781, Lieut. - 
Colonel in 1788, died in 1792 : 180, 
217. , 

BucsHBUNDER : se«t Bakhshi. • 

Bumutter (cf. muththa), charity 
, lands : 298., 

BuNDABUST (band-bar-dasht), ac- 
count of share payable by each 
member of a "vailage community. 
Burcardassies, burgundasses, 

matchlock-men : 79, 254. 
Burdwan, town and district in Ben- 
gal : 14, 64 assigned to the Eng- 
lish, 6|, 72 Hastings raises arrears 
from, 84, 87, 89, 136 model state 
of, 228-9 salt in, 238 price of silk 
in, 274, 288, 293, 304 Burdwan 
Division,* 307. * 



Burke, Edmund, 97, 102. 

— Richard, 112. 

BuRRAMPORE i- see Berhampur. 

BussoRAH, port on the Persian 
Gulf : 19, 224. 

I^B^XAR, town 'xn Shahab^ad. district, 
Bengal ; scene cof British defeat 
'of JVfir Kasim : 53. 

BuxEY : s^ee Bakhshi. c- 

Bycunpore, Baikanthpur, town 
in Patna district, a ''holy place 
thronged by pilgrims at the festi- 
val of Sivaratri {vide Thornton's 
Gazetteer): 27. 

Byzack : sec Bais^kh. 

Cadets, 33 corps of, 272 superfluity 
of, 322. 

Calcutta, i, 30-1 purchase of, 
32-4, troops at, 77-48 council, 
117 council moved to, 150, 177 
jurisdiction in, 234 mint at, 243 
trade of, 290 revenue council, ^^911 
304 committee of revenue, 327 
Zemindars' cutcheri abolished. 

Calcutta Committee of Revenue, 
established April i, 1771 : 293. 

Calsa : see Khalsa. 

Cam AC, Captain Jacob : Lieutenant 
in East India Company's service 
Oct. 14, 1763 ; resigned Dec. 2, 
1782 : 214, 218. 

Canongo : see Kanungo. 

Cape of Good Hope, 40. 

Capital of Bengal : 23 native, 150 
Calcutta, position of. 

Carcoon : see Karkun. 

Carnatic, east coast of Indian 
peninsula: 20, no power of 
Nawab of Arcot in. 

Cartier, John : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1750, Chi^ at Dacca in 
1762, President 1770-2 April 13 : 
1 1 4, note, character of, 1 20 fate of, 
139-45 admi^nistration of, cen- 
sured, 148 note in margin, 174 
Cartier's finance, 175 his disputes 
with Council, 176 his appeal 
against General Barker, 223, 293, 

Cartwright, Ralph : a merchant 
trading for the East India Com- 
pany in Bengal in 1733, opened 
first factory : 30, 320. 

Cashmere, Kashmir, native state 
lying to the north of the Pu n j ab : 4 . 

Caste, distinctions of birth, tribe, 
or occupation which separate 
Hindus: 2, 9, 20, 27^5-3, 324-5. 

Caubul : see Kabul. ' 

Cauzee : see Kasi. 

Centinels : see Sentinels. 

Cawn, (i) name of a month, 252 
(2) see Khan. 

— Mahomed, 335. 

Certificate of Compensation, 
134. 239. 

Chait Singh : see Chet.Sirfg. 

Chakeran,<Chaukeraun Zemeen, 
police lands : 209, 211, 275. 

Chalan, CHELAN, an invoice, vouch- 
er, or pass. 

Champion, Alexander : Captain 
September i, 1758, Major 1763, 
Lieut. -(<;ol. 1766, Colonel 1770, 
Commander-in-Chief January 18, 
1774, resigned December 29, 
1774 :'' 184-5. 

Charnock, Job : founder of Cal- 
cutta in 1690 : 23, 31, 290, 320. 

Charters, 33, 40, 52. 

Chartres or Charters, Samueq : 
' arrived at Calcutta in 1769, col- 
lector at Jessore 1773, Buxey to 
the Board of Trade in 1775 : 
292. • 

Chaplains, 34. 

Chasa, chassar, a ploughman or 

cultivator : 82, 83. 
Chatham, William Pitt, Earl of, 


Chauki, chokey, or chowky, sta- 
tion of police or customs ; chau- 
ki dar, a Watchman, police, or 
customs peon : 16, 41, 50, 64, 
78-9, 118, 134 reduction of, 240 
abolition of. 

Chauth,chout: (i) tribute amount- 
ing to one-quarter of the regula^ 
assessment, levied by Marathas ; 
(2) fees, 4 annas per cent., paid to 
officers of justice : 115, 159, 276 
Maratha chout, 314, 325 chouts 
in courts. 

Chehelsetoon, the Hall of One 
, « Hundred Pillars at Murshidabad : 

Chet Sing, Chait or Chyte Singh, 
Raja of Beiares 1770-81 : 13, 
187, 227, 279, 323. ' 

Chief, head of a factory, man in 
charge of a district, 35, 37, &c. ,* 
Chiefs of Divisions created in 
. « 1774, 232. 

Chief Justice, 318. 

China, 37, 179. 

Chinsurah, Dutch settlement in 
Hugli district : 46. 


343 . / 

Chittagong, district in Eastern 
Bengal : 2, 23, 64, 94-5. 228 salt 
• produced in, 293, 307. 

Chobdar, chubdar, a servant to 
announce visitors, 28. 

CifbKEY : see Chauki. 

Choromandel : see Coromandel. 

Chota Nagpur, Chutya Nagpur, 
a grbup of states in the hilly 
district to the soutLiwest of Ben- 
gal : 2. 

Chout : see Chauth. 

Chowdry, landholders in next rank 
to Zemindars : 11, 17. 

Chubdar : see Chobdar. 

Chukla, chuckla, sut>^ivision of 
» the ancient circar or province in 
Bengal : 10, 27, 36, 77. 

Chunam, chuna, lime : 7^. 

Chuncaparra, village near Ram- 
pur Boalia : 43. 

Chuttanutta, Sutaluti, a village 

• on the site of North Calcutta : 
31 note 2. • 

Chyte Singh : see Chet Sing. 

Circar : see Sirkar. 
• Circuit, Annual, proposed, 159. 

— Committee of: see Committee. 
Civil Servants : 33-7, 140 cost of, 

180 reform of. 

Clavering, Sir John, 1722-77 : 
appointed by the Regulating Act 
to be Commander-in-Chief and 
second in Council of Bengal with 
right of succession* to the Gover- 
nor-Generalship, which he claimed 
in June 1777 ; died August 30, 
1777 : 14 note, 42, 265, 266. 

Clive, Robert Lord, 46-7, 51, 53- 
, 62, 93-6, 103, 112 Clive's jagir, 
114 note, 115-16, 119, 121, 153, 
167 cedes Allahabad, 169 policy 
discarded, 175-6 relations witlj 
Council, 180, 182 letter to, 227, 

Coffee-houses, 112. 

Coinage {see also Currency), 129*, 
135, 164 copper, 233. « 

Colebrooke, Sir George, Chair- 
man of the Co^irt of Directors 
•in 1769, Banker and M.P. for 
Arundel: 103, 148, 268, 317. 

— Henry Thomas, 1765-1837 : 
Assistant Collector at Tirhut, 
1786: 148, 206. t , 

Collections : see Revenue. 

Collectors, English or native 
officials supervising or collecting 
the revenues of Bengal : 62, 67, 

71, 159 number to be reduced, 
236 conflict with traders, 253-4 
remittances, 257 jtist discernment 
of, 258 Hastings's account of, 269, 
291-2 in districts, 316 excessive 
powers ^f, 322, 32^. 

Collet, Matth-ew : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1740, writer, seventlf in 
©ouncil, naval storekeeper 1757, 
Zemindar in 1758 : 93. 

Comiopli^s, inferior agents em- 
ployed in the cotton trade at 
Madras : 

Commander-in-Chief: 153-4 re- 
lations with .Council, 176 rela- 
tions with civil authority, 206-7. 

Commission of three Supervisors: 
112, 113, 114, 116, 118, 126-33, 


— of Accounts, i 33, 203 'a Com- 
mittee which never met ' . 

» --y of Circuit, 125 creation of, 153 
functions of, 181, 195, 212 in 
Kuch Behar, 226, 256-86 work 
of, 326. 

— OF Inspection, 56, 180, 203-6. 

— Military, 133. 

— OF Trade or Commerce, Society 
of Trade, created in 1765 as an 
exclusive Company : 58, 80, 133, 
141 accounts of demanded, 202, 
205 balances paid up by, 228 salt 
monopoly of, 230. 

— OF Revenue : see Revenue. 

— Select: see Select. 
Comptroller of the Investment, 

219, 223, 231, 238. 
Convicts, 331. 

Cooch Behar, Cose Bahar, Cose 
Beyhar, Kuch Behar, a state 
to the n^rth of Rungpore in 
Bengal: 180, 212-13, 227, 302 
revenues of, 308. ^ 

Coot, an estimate pr register of salt 
(cf . Telegu kotharu = a salt-pan,* 
salt-works ; also kote hitti = a tax 
once levied in Mysore) : 252. 

CooTE, Sir Eyre, K.B. : arrived 
in India 1754, Captain in 1755, 
Colonel 1765, M.P. 1768, Com- 
mander-in-Chief 1779-83, died 
1783 : 69, 102. 

CooTWAL : see Kotwal. 

CoPRA> dried kernel of coco-nut 
used for oil. 

Corah : see Kora. 

CoRNWALLis, Marquess of : Gover- 
nor-Ge&eral 1786-93, int^oduced 



permanent settlement of land re- 
venue in Bengal: 266, 321. 

CoromanDel, ^horomandel, east 
coast of Madras Presidency : 143. 

Coss : see Kos. 

Cqsiid, a messenger. v „ 

CossiM Ally Cawn, : see Kasim Ali 

Cossimbazar, Kasimbazar, com- 
mercial suburb of Murshidabad, 
factory and fort of Bkst India 
Company: 23, 30, 35 note, 36, 
41-6. 93, loi. 132/172. 

Cotton, 3, 20, 81, 107-ib. 

Council, The Suprj^me, Calcutta : 
the highest British governing 
body in Bengal, consisting of the 
President and a number of mem- 
bers varying from 16 before 1772 
to 4 after 1774 : 32-3, 37, 43-4, 
66-7, 76, 117 reform of, 1 20 weak- 
ness of, 123 and note numbers of, 
130 confined to Calcutta, i^i < 
duties of, 133 numbers of Com- 
mittee fixed, 152 harmony of, 153, 
154. 155 to remain at Calcutta, 
156 to control cutcheri, 158, 159 
to go on circuit, 172 quarrels, 199 
procedure in, 281 favouritism of, 
318 Governor-General in. 

Country Government, native au- 
thority in Bengal: 52, 75, 78, 

Country Powers, native States 
of India: 115, 127-8 Bengal to 
keep peace with, 130, 133 corre- 
spondence with, 168. 

Court of Directors of the East 
India Company, the governing 
body in London: 33. 

— OF Sessions in Calcutta, 281. 

Court martial, 123, 2^1. 

Covenants, 57, 58-9 covenanted 
servants, 60, 74-5, 135. 

Crimk :' 27, 128 j^jrisdiction for, 311 
' different standards of, 313, 324, 
329, 330-5 criminal jurisdiction 

Croftes, Charles : arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1769, Accpuntant to the 
Revenue Board 'at Murshidabad 
1772 : 292, 296. 

Crore, kror, 10 millions or 100 
lacs of rupees : 86. 

Currency {see also Coinage), 129, 
135, 161, 219, 233-5, 253-4. 

Customs : 219 reform of, 225, 240- 
52, 293. See also Chauki. 

CusTOirfS Master, 15, 76,' 133, 293. 

Cutcheri, cutcherry, cucHERRkE, 
KACHAHRi : a court, an office, the 
place where any public business 
is transacted, the country magis- 
trate's court: II, 16, 88, 128, 
153, 156 to be centre for coll Ac- 
tions, 269 of Zemindar, 270, 272 
Sadr cutcherry, 284, 311, 313. 

CuTTACK, capital of Orissa : '23, 30. 

Dacca or Jehangirnagar, city aqL . 
district in Eastern Bengal, sub- 
ordinate factory, centre of im- 
portant trade : 14, 20, 23, 36, 93, 
134 un(^r Mohamed Reza Khan, 
164 mint at, 194 revenues of, 226 
custom-house at, 228-9, 235, 245, 
275, 304 Dacca Division, 307, 330. 

Dacoit, one of a gang of robbers : 
14, 64, 178-9. 254, 326, 330-2. 

Dacres, Philip Milner : arrived 
in Calcutta in 1756, sub-accounti 

^ ant in 1762 : 256, 274, 337, 

Dadni, dadney, an advance, agent 
entrusted with advances : 37-9, 
150, 219-22, 236-7. 

Dak, dauk, dawk, a post ofl6ce, 
postal service. 

Dalai Llama, religious ruler of 
Thibet : 227. 

Darogo, drogah, chief in any 
Government department, head of 
police, customs, or excise : 11,18, 
78. 309. 3301- 

Dastak : see Dustuk. 

Dawson, Adam : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1726, Assistant at Dacca 
in 1745-6, export - warehouse- 
keeper 1748, President 1749-50 : 

Dean, Richard, Deputy Master in 
East India Company's Marine at 
Calcutta, May 31, 1771 : 139. 

Debts : 140 of junior servants, 161 
of Zemindars, 271, 312 Court for, 
324. 325. 

DrccAN, Dekkan, central tableland 
of Southern India : 128. 

Deculcutta {i3e Calcutta), 31 
note 2. < 

Delhi, Dehly, city and district in 
Punjab, ancient capital of Mogul 
Empire, new capital of British 
Jndia : 25, 54, 116, 167, 

Deloll, a broker : 21, 38, 220. 

Demutter (cf.,</t, dihi=:a. district 
composed of a few villages, and 
mM//f/Aa = subdivision of a dis- 


thct in Northern Sirkars, a large 
estate), charity lands : 298. 

Dereenck, extra tax : 261. 

Diet money, 35. 

DiNAjpUR, Dinagepore, town and 
district in Eastern Bengal and 
Assam: 52, 304, 307. 

Directors {see also Court of Direc- 
tors),M,^5. 41. 48, 53-4, 57-60, 

c!>w-^62, 6s, 95. i03» 113, 123, 166. 
^^"^'^''^PLiNE : 154 military, 177 need 


3!E, 180 of sepoys. 
^^.^.^^PATCHES, list of, from Director 
to President, 126. 
Dividend : on East India Company 
stock, 102-3, 113, 3i8i|^ 
, Divisions, the six divisions of Ben- 
gal : 304. 
Diwan, dewan, duan, •a royal 
court, a tribunal, a chief ofi5cer of 
state, the head financial minister : 
9, 10, II, 14, 16, 18, 27, 31, 32, 66 
^ starting forth as, 67, &c., 269 to 
replace Zemindar, 291. • 
— Khaneh, hall of audience at 
Murshidabad: 27. 
• — Naib, 291. 
DiwANi, office of diwan : 48 first 
offered to British, 54-6 granted 
to British, 58, 60-3, 67, 85-6 
effect of, 118 actual assumption 
oi, 135, 136 'to stand forth as 
Diwan ',153 result of, 166-7 i^i- 
plications of, 1 69 Hastings's use of, 
171 responsibility A)r, 220 lowers 
importance of trade, 219, 313 
Sadr Diwani, 325 Diwani Adalut. 
DoAB, land between two rivers, 

Ganges and Jumna : 115. 
DoLCHUND, Raja, head of the first 
• bank of Calcutta : 235. 
Donga, a canoe' made of plantain 
leaves : 246. , 
Dooly, duli, a litter, a swing cot : 

DooLUBRAM, Raja, 139. 

Dow, Captain Alexander : Cadet* 
1760 in Bengal Infantry, Captain 
in T764, historian, wrote account 
of India in i77ai died 1779 : 4, 
»ii3, 224. 

Drake, Roger (junior) : arrived at 
Calcutta in 1737, fifth at Kasim- 
bazar in 1742, Governor of Cal- 
cutta from 1752 to 1758 : 45. ^ ^ 

Dravidian race, probably original 
type of populatioDiof India : 2, 3. 

Dual system, form of government 
set up in Bengal by Clive in 1765 

by which the Nawab retained 
a merely nominal authority : 52, 
60, 62-3, 65, 67, 95, 119, 126, 169, 
217, 219. 

DuBASH, dubashi, dobashi, inter- 
pretor, jservant t6 a mercantile 
house : 109. •> , 

Ducarell, Gerard Gustavus : 
^rived at Calcutta in ^765, super- 
visor of Purnea in 1769 : 89, 90, 
91. ' 

Duelling, 17^. 

DuFTUR, deftur, a record, register, 
office of revenue : 298. 

Dunbar, Lieut^:nant James, 177. 

DuPRt, JosiAS : arrived at Madras 
in 1752 as factor, tenth of Coun- 
cil in 1762, import- warehouse- 
keeper and assay-master. Presi- 
dent 1770-? : 103-4, 120, 258, 318. 

Dur'bar, darbar, levee or court : 

27, 44, 76-7, 88, 93, 131. 
•DyRREEP Deo, Zemindar of Bycun- 
pore : 216. 

DusMUSSA RUPEES, Current at Mur- 
shidabad and Dacca : 164. 

DUSTUK, dustuck, dastak, dy- 
STicK, a pass or permit : 39-42, 
48-52, 59, 134, 164 abolition of, 
219, 225-6, 238-9. 

Dutch, 20, 44-5, 80, 163, 253. 

Duty : 16 road-tolls, 51 evasion of, 
59 high rates of, 78, 80-5, 88, 98- 
100, 117, 130, 150, 162-4, 226 
uniform rate fixed at 2^ per cent., 
228-30 salt duty, 240, 242, 244. 

Dystick : see Dustuk. 

East India Company : i, 5, 23, 31 
position under Moguls, 32 Com- 
pany's government in Bengal, 35, 
48 confirrctfition of rights of, 49- 
67 supremacy of, 95 acquires 
Burdwan, 1 1 3 incurs intervention 
of Government,* 166 Company 's,^ 
position in 1772, 320. 
, East India Company's Stock, 103, 
106, 1 1 2-1 3. 

Edwards, Captain : in command 
of a Pargana ijattalion, killed by 
Sunnyasis : 180. 

Egypt, 19, 224. 

Ellis, William : arrived in India 
in 1749, Chief at Kasimbazar in 
i759.» Chief at Patna in 1762, 
murdered by Kasim Ali in 1763 : 
69, 97-100. 

Ely rupees, current at Patna : 
164. ' 



Emperor : see Mogul. 

Europeans: ii, 19, 23, 33-5, 37, 
41,44,48, 50,*'52, 54-5,62 'foreign 
nations', 81, 86, 124, 157 re- 
strained to coast, 158 arrest na- 
< fives, 162-^, 177 ^jibjact to 
jj^ayor's Court, '190 companies, 
242, 247, 261 not to farm, 281 
permittee? to farm, 306 offifcrs, 
327 under British law. 

Evans, Richard : Senior Lieute- 
nant, commission/^d August 27, 
1762, killed by niutijieer 1772 : 

Exclusive Company, 58-9. 

Faquir, fakir, a poor person, 
usually a religious mendicant : 

Famine of 1770 : 4, 6;»>, 91-2 reports 
of, 119, 135, 192 Mohamed Reza 
Khan's conduct regarding, 256 
effects of, 297. c ' 

Fanam, gold or silver coin, the latter 
worth id. 

Farm, annual sum paid by rent- 
collectors; 15. 

Farmer, a publican, one who col- 
lects the taxes from a given dis- 
trict : 15, 17, 50, 87, 90, 148, 151, 
209, 249, 303, 325. 

Farrukhsiyar, Furruck Shah, 
Mogul Emperor 1712-19 : 23,40. 

Fatwa, fettwa, a judicial sentence 
in the Mahomedan court : 331. 

Faujdar, fouzdar, phousdar, 
oflBcer of police, magistrate or 
judge in criminal cases : 11, 13--15, 
21. 56, 63, 79, 89, 117, 159, 178, 
209, 210, 284 jurisdiction inherent 
in Zemindar, 297, 306 forbidden 
to farm, 308, 310 F«ujdar's posi- 
tion discussed, 312 Sadr Faujdar 
and (Faujdari Adalut. {See also 
Adalut and Sadr.) 

Faundees, small custom-houses at 
which road duties, on commodi- , 
ties were levied : 244. 

Fettwa : see Fatwa. 

Fines : 24, 88, 21, it, 272 applicable 
to high castes, 313, 325, 331 in- 
equality of, 334. 

Floyer, Charles, writer, fifth in 
Council at Calcutta 177 1 : 293. 

Forbes, Thomas : arrived fat Cal- 
cutta in 1759, third at Kasim- 
bazar in 1767 : 139. 

FoRDE JJ'rancis: Lieutenc^ut-Colonel 
in H.M. 39th Regiment, known as 

Adlercron's, the first regularls in 
India ; succeeded to Killpatrick's 
command in 1758 ; one of the 
Commission of Supervisors lost 
at sea 1769 : 113. 
Foreign relations of BENcfivL, 
115, 122, 127-8, 130, 133, 168, 
188, 242-3. 
Fortunes made in Iniwa,' ioi by 
Warren If-xstings, 102, 109, 267 
hard to gain. ^J. , 

Fort Marlborough, at Bencoo^jl. .. 
in Sumatra, founded in 1686, e^r 
changed with the Dutch for 
Malacca. on March 11, 1824 : 331. 
Fort St. J^eorge, at Madras : 139. 
Fort William, at Calcutta : 139. 
Francis, Philip, i 740-1 81 8: ama- 
nuensi?! to Pitt in 1761, clerk at 
the War Ofiice from 1762 to 1772, 
member of Council of Bengal un- 
der the Regulating Act 1774-80 : 
12, 14 note, 176,228,262,263,28^ 
t'RANK, a free pass : 39, 40, 49' 
Free Merchants, persons licensed 
by the East India Company to 
trade on their own account within 
their territories, not covenanted 
servants, forbidden to engage in 
trade with Europe : 51, 58, 135, 

French in India, 48, 80, 93, 135, 
142, 328. 

FuLTA, Falta, a village within the 
Twenty-fouk Parganas, on the 
east bank of the Hugh River ; in 
1756 a Dutch station, to which 
the English retreated from Cal- 
cutta : 45. 

Furruck Shah : see Farrukhsiyar. 

Ganges, sacred river of Northern 

India : 169 natural frontier, 181. 
Gaur, former capital of Bengal {vide 

Buchanan-Hamilton's Drawings, 

vol. iii. No. 2) : 23. 
*Gentu, Gentoo: (i) a Gentile, a 
♦ Hindu, non-Mahomedan races; 

(2) the Bengali language: 3, 179, 

273, 285. 
Georgia, 224. « 
Ghat, Ghaut, Gaut, Haut, Jaut, 

a landing-place, ferry, or pass : 

16, 241, 298. 
.(jhazipur, town and district in 

Benares Division : 53, 54. 
Ghi, ghee, claaified butter : 308. 
Gholam Houssein Khan, 22. 
Gobindpur : see Govindpur. 




GoDDARD, Thomas : Captain, Octo- 
ber 24, 1763, Gjlonel 1779, Gene- 
ral ; removed from Bengal to 
Bombay Establishment 1781 : 

C^LAH, GOLAHjAUT, a Storehouse 
for grain or salt, circular with 
conical roof : 252, 
GoMAs?TAH, a native agent : 21, 36- 
9, 52, 76, 80, I gomastahs 

fstablished in Madras, 158 under 
ivil magistrate, 219-22. 
OMBROON, port near Ormuz on 
Persian Gulf : 19. 
Goodwin, Henry : arm^ed in Cal- 
cutta 1758, writer arP| merchant 
1 77 1, twelfth in Council 1772, 
member of Revenue Bc^ard 1772- 
6, Comptroller 1774, member of 
Board of Trade and Chief at 
Chktagong 1775 : 274, 337. 
GooRDASS, Raja, son of Nunco- 
• mar : 172, 192. ' 
Goring, Charles, a senior servant 

at Kasimbazarin 1766 : 42, 292. 
Governor : see President. 
— General : 104, 306, 318. 
Govindpur, Gobindpur, native 
town acquired by East India 
Company, site chosen for Fort 
WilUam at Calcutta : 31 note 3, 
Graham, John : arrived in Cal- 
cutta in 1759, Resident at Burd- 
wan 1762, Supervisor 1769 : 89, 
90, 256, 274, 337.' 
Grain : 80, 193, 195 monopoly, 

202, 241, 259, 301 stored, 308. 
Grant, John : Lieutenant 1764, 
Captain 1766, resigned 1775 : 147, 
, 292. 

Gray, George;: arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1755, Resident at Malda 
1762 : 58, 71. > 

Gregory, Robert (senior) : ar- 
rived at Calcutta in 1772, assis- 
tant at Lucknow 1783 : 195, 

Gregory or Goorgeen Khan, Af^» 
menian : 26. * 

Grose, John : arrived at Calcutta 
in 1763, clerk td Zemindar 1766, 
' Supervisor of Rungpore in 1770 : 

Guchavut, practice of forcing goods 

on buyers : 50. 
Gunge, a storehouse or markat\ 

usually for grain : 16, 76, 241-4, 

298. » 
Gunnegarries, fines (cf. gunahgavi 

= criminality) : 272. 

Gunny, sacking : 76. 

Gurry, ghari : twenty-four min- 
utes, used comnibnly for Enghsh 
hour : 246. 

GwALiOR, celebrated fort on an 
isolated rock ill Central India 
Agency: ii^ 9 

Hafiz I^ahmut Cawn, Rahmat 
Khan, a Rohilla leader ruling 
PiUbhit, ea^t of Ganges, in 1773 : 
186. ^ 

Haldarry, tax on marriages : 

260. > 
Halhed, Nathaniel Brassey, 

1751-1830 : arrived at Calcutta 

1772, translated native code: 4 


Ha^e, Francis : arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1755, second at Patna 1769 : 

IIariharapur, early English settle- 
ment on the Mahanuddi : 30. 

Harispur Gar, port at the mouth 
of the river Patna in Orissa : 

Harper, Gabriel : Ensign in 1763, 
Captain in 1766, Colonel 1786, re- 
signed 1788 : 123, 139. 177. 

Harris, James: arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1758, tenth in Council 1772 : 

Harwood, William : arrived at 
Calcutta in 1763, Supervisor of 
Rajmahal in 1770; 89. 

Hastings, Warren: i, 5, 14, 16, 
35 salary of, 39, 41-6 as junior 
servant, 60 note, 66, 67, 93-140, 
105 Hastings's task, 1 14 appointed 
to Bengal, 143, 145 approval of, 
146 plat*, 176 character, 177 
views on military subordination, 
182, 319 estimate of. » 

Haulbungen, a ^reaking-in^ upoi* 
the new year's rents, a fore- 
stalling of'*the revenues ; farmers 
forced to pay rents prematurely 
to Zemindars, without interest. 

Haut : see Ghfe*. 

Hawali, havelly, lands held by 
a Zemindar for his personal use 
or profit, the Zemindar's private 
estate : 12. 

Hay, ^William : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1752, import-warehouse- 
keeper in 1762 : 97. 

Hidgely^ Hijili, Hedgelee, (i) 
a district in Orissa, the low coast 

) > 



lands on the west of the Hugh ; 
(2) a cultivator of these lands : 
251, 274. 307.^- 

HiGGiNsoN, Alexander : arrived 
at Calcutta in 1763, Paymaster to 
ai detachment bn the Cbu'oncandel 
coisist 1769, in receipt of Captain's 
pay and batta ; Collector, Secre- 
tary to Revenue DepartmentSn 
1772: 139. 

HiRCARRAH, messenger or spy : 25, 

Hoarding, practice of ^^hoarding 
coin : 161-2, 233. 

HoLKAR, family name of ruhng 
chief of Indore in Malwa : 115, 

HoLWELL, John, 171 1-98: Zemin- 
dar of the Twenty-four Parganas, 
member of Council 1754, survivor 
from the Black Hole* 41, 10:^. 

HooLE, John, 1727-1803 : clerk in 
the India House and Auditor of 
Accounts 1773 ; author : 296. » 

HucKEM Beg, native farmer of the 
customs at Kasimbazar : 41. 

HuGLi, river, town, and district in 
Bengal, a subordinate factory of 
the East India Company : 31, 36, 
202 settlement of revenues in, 
226 custom-house in, 245, 247, 
248 under Lushington, 274, 276, 

HusTABOoD, Hastobud, a com- 
parative account showing the 
past and present produce of an 
estate : 87, 260, 282, 284, 298, 


brother-in-law of Omichand ; Cal- 
cutta banker : 195, 235, 
Hyder Ally Cawn, Haidar Ali 
Khan, 1769-82 : usurper of the 
throne of Mysore : 1^3. 

Illahabad : see Allahabad. 

Jmpey*, Sir Elijah, 1732-1809 : 
educated at Westminster and 
Cambridge, Counsel i^or the East 
India Company before the House 
of Commons in 1772, appointed 
first Chief Justicccf the Supreme 
Court 1773, President of the Sadr 
Diwani Adalut 1780, recalled 
1783, impeachment of, abandoned 
1787: 318. 

Influence : 259 results of, 3«2. 

Inheritance : 161-2 Government 
claim to, 264 old system of, 312, 

^ Inland trade, traffic in the neces- 

saries of life produced and con- 
sumed within Bengal : 19, 41, 50- 
2, 57-60, 118, 155, 174, 219, 235. 

Inquiry: (i) Court of Directors' 
inquiry into conduct of their 
servants : 114 neglected by Cfrc- 
tier, 135, 166, 174, 193 impor- 
tance of, 1 17-20, 174, 196-207,205 
Committee of Inquiry aredted. 

— (2) House fi>f Commons inquiry 
into East Indian affairs, order,'='_. ^ 
1766, held 1767-73 : 102, 112^./.^ 

Inspection, Board of : see Com* .: 

InspectorSvOf Revenue, 291. 

Instructk^is to Commissioners, 
114-18, 127, 133. 

Interest notes, 223. 

Interest,* Rates of, 224. 

Investment, the East India Com- 
pany's import and export' trade 
in Bengal : 37, 39. 42, 50, 82-3, 
103 Madras investment, 119 re-i 
'"duced, 124, 142-3 failure of, 156, 
163 enhanced cost of, 181, 202, 
219-25 reform of, 220 Hastings's 
plans for, 233 effect of invest- 
ment on currency, 236-8 reform 
of, 246 duty on. 

Islamabad, Chittagong : 156- 

Jachendar, jachandar, an ap- 
praiser, a valuer : 38. 

Jafar, Mir, Jaffier : Nawab of 
Bengal 1757-60 and 1763-5 : 31, 
40, 49-54, 61, 64, 68, 94, loi, 171, 
172, 194. 

Jagarnath, Juggernaut, temple 
at Pun in Orissa : 23, 179 pil- 
grimages to. , 

Jagat Seth Fath Qhand (see Seth), 
nephew of Manik Chand : 22. 

Jagir, jaghir, jaghire, jagheer, 
a tract of land made over to some 
person on condition of military 
or political service, the revenue 

, * ' being assigned to them and usu- 
ally to their heirs, ' A tenure in 
which the public revenues of 
a given tract 6f land were made 
over to a servant of the State to 
gether with the powers to collect 
revenue and administer general 
government ' (H. H. Wilson) : 
oto, 57 Clive's jagir, 71, 159 jagir 
rents, 198 Shitab Roy's jagir. 

Jagirdar, holde* of a jagir : 11,17, 

135. 279- 
Japan, 37. 



Jats, Jauts, a hardy race from 
the north-west, connected with 
3 ancient Getae : 185. 

Jehangirnagar {see Dacca), Je- 


JuLPiGOREE, town in Rajshahi : 

JessaIiut Cawn, Naib at Dacca in 

^V>?5fc^ 1765 : 77' > 
\j • ^yssoRE, town and district in the 
J*residency Division, Bengal : 91, 
^it^- "^202 settlement of, 211 dacoity in, 
228 salt in, 247, 307. 


native officer or caf^ain, subor- 
* dinate to the darogo : 31 note. 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, autocrat of 
English literature in* reign of 
George III : 102. 

JoHHSTONE, John : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 175 1, Custom master in 
» 1762 : 70. 

Jones, John : Lieutenant 1785, 
Captain 1767, died 1773 at Kuch 
Behar : 212-13. 
• Judge-Advocate-General, chief 
judicial authority over East India 
Company's military forces ; office 
created by Hastings 1772 (see 
Bengal Letters received, vol. xi, 
p. 403) : 177. See Stewart. 

Judges, Puisne : 318. 

Juggernaut : see Jagarnath. 

JuMMA, JAMA, total assessmcnt for 
land revenue (cf . jum, primitive, 
shifting cultivation practised by 
non- Arygin races in Bengal) : 261. 

— BUND, -BUNDY, reut-roll : 71. 
« — Toomar : see Toomar jumma. 

Jumma-wausii.-Baukee : 268. 

Jungle terai, jangul terai, low 
forest land, a tract of country in 
Monghir : 180,217-18. 

Justice: 6, 10, 11, 21, 27,32,63, 
64 first British courts of, 87-8, 
1 1 3 note, 1 1 7 absence of, 1 28, 1 32* > 
141 Company's servants udder 
British court of, 156 principles of, 
196, 202 new ciurts of, 209 evi- 

* dence in courts of, 222--6 plan of, 
268, 295 in civil cases, 308-38 new 
system of, 309 native courts of, 
319 plan of, 326-7 Justice of the 
Peace. ■> 

— Charter of, a charter granted 
in 1726 and renewed in 1728, es- 
tablished the Mayor's Court at 
Calcutta : 328. 

Kabul, Cabul, capital and pro- 
vince of Afghanistan : 179. 

Kanungo, Canc¥igo, a native 
Revenue inspector: 11, 16, 18, 
297, 310. 313, 322, 324. 

Kari3UNv CARCooiJ, a clerk, wriiter, 
inferior reveaue officer : 298^ 300. 

Kasi, cauzee, a Mahomedan judge 
Administering law according to 
the Koran: 27, 273, 310, 314, 324. 

Kasim Ali Khan, Cossim Ally 
Cawn, N^ab of Bengal from 
1760 tg 1763 : 42, 51. 53. 56, 58, 
68-71, 93-9, loi, 165, 172. 

Kasimbazar : ^ee Cossimbazar. 

Kelsall, Thomas : arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1767, Chief at Dacca 1770 : 
89, 293. 

Khalarries, collaries, salt work- 
yigs : 2<7, 249. 

Khalsa, the exchequer, the chief 
revenue office : as applied to 

) lands the term means those lands 
of which the revenue remains the 
property of the Government, not 
being made over as jagir to any 
other parties, the rents being 
collected directly by the Govern- 
ment : II, 27, 71, 159, 194, 202 
works smoothly, 230, 234, 287, 
291, 295 reform of, 313, 324, 327, 
328 risks of attendance at. 

Khan J afar, another name for 
Murshid Kuli Khan (q. v.). 

Kharif, khareef, autumn harvest 
of rice in Bengal. 

Khas, land directly managed by 
the khalsa officials : 10, 260, 270. 

Khattah, khata, daily account- 
book, used also for warehouse or 

Khojah, idwaja, a rich or respect- 
able Armenian, an opulent mer- 
chant : 23. ) 

Killican, David : arrived "kt Cal- 
cutta August 18, 1773, as factor 
(this man appears to have been 
a free merchant in 1772) : 246-7. 

Killpatrick, James, Major : sent 
from Madr£f,to refugees at Fulta, 
July 14, 1756, joins Council there : 

King : see Mogul. 

King of Great Britain, 104. 

Kings's friends, the Tory clique 
at the Court of George III : 121. 

Kishnagar, Kishenagur, town and 
district lying along th(j Ganges, 
north-east of Calcutta : 260, 334. 


V KisHNCHAND, KissEN Chund, Raja 
of Nuddea, held land to south of 
Calcutta : 328* 


settlement of the instalments of 
t^Qi revenue ; (\ny docu^ect re- 
lating to fixed pv?riodical pay- 
meTjts of the revenue or of a debt : 
86-90, 194,^261, 271, 274. «? 

Knox, Captain Randfurlie : 
served under Major Caillaud 
against the Shahzada and the 
Nawab at Patna fa 1760 (see 
Lifeby S.C.Hill) : 174.* 

KoLS, a barbarous tjibe inhabiting 
forest and mountain tracts in 
Benares, South Bihar, and Chota 
Nagpur, perhaps aborigines : 2. 

KoRA, Corah, province in Oudh : 
53, 55. 116 granted to.Oudh, 128, 
139 raided by Marathas, 166. ' 

Koran, sacred book of the Mahome- 
dans : 4, 325, 331. , 

Kos, coss, a measure of distance, 
between one and two miles. 

KoTWAL, CooTWAL, chicf officcr of 
police, superintendent of a mar- 
ket : 20, 21, 24, 310. 

Kror : see Crore, 

KucH Behar : see Cooch Behar. 

KuRRAH, Karrah, One of the nine 
Circars of Allahabad : 185. 

Lac, stick-lac, resin from the 

peepul and other trees : 19. 
Lac, lack, lak, lakh, a sum of 

100,000 rupees, worth ;^io,ooo 

in the eighteenth century. 
Laknauti, old name of the early 

capital of Bengal : see Gaur. 
Lambert, William : arrived 1760, 

fourth at Dacca 1769^ 334. 
Land tenure. System of : see 

Lane, ^Thomas : carrived at Cal- 
* cutta in 1756, Chief at Patna in 

1773 : 204, 274. 
Law, Hindu and Mahomedan : 

4, 27. 

— British, unfit foi;^iatives : 124, 
157 native law to continue, 158, 
311 British law inapplicable, 337 
code of Hindu law. 

Lawrell, James : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1758. second at Burdwan 
in 1765, Secretary to Committee 
of Trade in 1766, member of 
Revenue Board in 1774: 186, 
256, 2/4, 337. 


Leases on long terms : 84-7, 
Burdwan system of, 151, 249, 
256-86 reasons for, 312. 
Leycester, Ralph : arrived at Cal- 
cutta 1753, Commissary-general 
in 1 764, Customs-master 1 765: 5^5. 
Light infantry, force created in 

1772 : 179. 
London, 32, 112. • " 

Lords, Hous^f, 113. ^ 
Luckipore, Lakhipur, LakshaK. 
pur, Jagdea, town in Noakl>>' 
district, Bengal, a subordinat^.- 
factory of the East India Com- 
pany, alsQtcalled Jagdea : 36, 77, 

93- W 
Lushington, Henry: arrived at 
Calcutta in 1755, second at Patna 
in 1762, 'Chief at Hugli in 1772 : 
201-2, 248 report from, 275, 316, 

i Macassar : Dutch port in Celebes, < 
'occupied by British in 181 5 : 19. 
Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 
First Baron, 1800-59: historian. 
President of Commission on 
Indian Criminal Code in 1835-8 : 

Mackenzie, David : Lieutenant 
1765, Captain December 16, 1767, 
dismissed the Company's service 
far exactions, after court-martial 
November 23, 1771 — January 13, 
1772 : 271. 

LAN : Commissary-General, re- 
signed 1774, agent ioj: Hastings 
in England 1776-7 : 265. 

Madras, Presidency on Carnatic 
coast: 32, 46, s^, 105, 107-11 
Hastings's report from, no Ma- 
,dras jagir, 115, 143 Hastings's 
work in Madras commended, 170 
financial dependence of, 220, 222, 

233. 318. 

]J*'agellan Straits, 40, 74. 

Magistrate : 12 Zemindar as, 124, 
148, 153-8 native magistrates, 
311, 313 reform^. 

Mahal, mal, mhal, (i) aggregate of 
plots of land held under one 
family title; (2) fiscal term for pro- 
perty : 230 the salt mahal, 248-9. 


a supreme or sovereign prince, 
applied looselj^" as courtesy title 
to all Rajas : 17, 195, 196. 
Mahato, village scribe : 6. 



Mahmudthy, town in Calcutta 
division : 307. 

Mahomedans, followers of Ma- 
homet : 2. 3, 17, 53, 285, 333, 
^ahomedan law 325-7, 331-2. 

MAr'toiVE Islands, 19. 

Malguzari, (i) revenue assessment ; 
(2) person or land paying revenue : 
76, 85, 2\ C 270. 

' A^LIKANA, MALEKANA.IdueS of the 

'^^ik or proprietor of land : 284. 
^^A, Central Indian tableland, 

Maratha States of Gwalior and 

Indore : 15. 
Mangan, mongen, a f»^ gift or 

benevolence : see Mon^jen. 
Man of Kent, nickname of John 

Car tier (q. v.) : 114 notfj. 
Mansfield, Sir James, 1733-1821 ; 

Lord Chief Justice, K.C. 1772, 

M.P'1779: 103. 

* Mansfield,' East India Company's 

* ship : 102. 

Marathas, Mahrattas, Marattas, 
Morattaes, Hindu descendants 
and followers of Sivaji (q. v.) : 
2, 7, 54, 85 raids of, 11 5-16, 122, 
138, 167-9 tribute to, 169, 181-9, 
261, 276, 323- 

Marriott, Randolph : arrived at 
Calcutta in 1753, second at 
Chittagong in 1762 : 44 note. 

Masulipatam, Bandar : head-quir- 
ters of Kistna district, Madras, 
seaport and early European settle- 
ment : 30. 

Maulda, Maldah, town in Bhagal- 
pur district, Bengal, ancient 
capital of Bengal, later a sub- 

* ordinate factory: 36, 245. 

Maund, man, a measure of weight 
containing 82^ lb. avoirdupois : 
230, 249. > 

Mayor's Court, British court of 
justice for Calcutta and district, 
created or remodelled in 1726 {see 
Charter of Justice) : 32-3, 124, ^ 
140 range of jurisdiction of, 15b, 
157 authority of^, court over na- 
tives, 177 defied, ''281, 315, 328-9. 

Meghna River, combined estuary 
of Ganges and Brahmaputra 
rivers : 36. 

Memoir of Warren Hastings, 
written by P. C, circa 1820 : ic^.' 

Mhatute, matute, ^athaut, mul- 
tout, muttaoot : capitation, 
poll-tax ; in Bengal an extra cess : 
87, 159, 261, 2/4. 


Middleton, Nathaniel : arrived at 
Calcutta in June 1770, Assistant 
to the Resident It Murshidabad 
in 1772-3, Resident in Oudh 1774: 
256. 274, 334. 

Middljjtcn, Samul'l : arrived'^t 
Calcutta in '1753, second^ at 
Luckipore in 1762, second in 
douncil. Resident a*-, Murshida- 
bad and Chief at Kasimbazar 
1772, Pi'esident of Board of Trade 
1774: 70. ^ 

MiDNAPOR^, town and district in 
Burdwan district, Bengal : 64, 
94-6, 115, 202 settlement of, 228, 
245, 248, 277 settlement of, 288, 
293. 297, 300. 

Military forces of the East India 
Company in Bengal : 33, 48, 
55,-6, 6o-i>, 67-8, 118, 123, 129, 
133. I3S» 139. 152, 154. 166. 170, 
176-8, 181-9. 
'of the Nawab : 61. 

Militia, 13. 33- 

MiNEAR UL DowLAH : See Muneir- 

Ministry, the native governor act- 
ing for the Nawab of Bengal under 
British direction : 89, 166-74. 

Mint Master : i 3 3 u nder Committee 
of Accounts. 

Mints : 164-5 provincial mints 
abolished, 234. 

Mir Jafar, Mir Kasim : see Jafar 
and Kasim. 

Mir Muneer, 253. 

Misrule in Bengal : 104 causes of, 
135 of Mohamad Reza Khan, 151 
reform of. 

Mocha, 19. 

MocuRRERY, MUKARRARi,- tenure 
held at a J fixed rate of rent or 
revenue, leases for life : 303. 

Mofussil, provincial land and its 
administration : ' 150, 194,^ 209^ 
241, 306, 324. 

— Adalut Djwani, 312. 

Mogul, Mahomedan Emperor of 
India: i, 2, 3, 8, 9, 18, 19, 21, 
22, 23, 26-7, '30, 32, 48, 54, 101, 
1 1 5-16, 147 tribute to Mogul 
withheld, 151, 167 Mogul system 
revived, 183-9 Mogul in Maratha 
hands, 285. 

Mohammed Ali Khan, Nawab of 
Arcot 1750-95 : 103,127. 

Mohamed Reza Khan, Mohamed 
Reza Cawn, Mohamei) Riza 
Khan : Naib of Dacca under Mir 


Jafar.NaibNazim of Bengal under 
Clive's dual system, tried by- 
Council of CaRuttain 1772, acquit- 
ted 1773: 54,61,64-5.72-3.75-7. 
118-19, 128, 134, 135, 166, 171-3 
/■<ial of, 189, !^^99, 203, r87*. 


HURRi, MOREA, a scribc I 88, 259, 
274, 298, 300. * 

MoHTESiB, native officer of justice 
(cf. muhasib, an auditlor of ac- 
counts) : 310. , 

MoLUNGis, a low-caste f>eople in- 
habiting the coast lands of Bengal 
and Orissa, salt- workers : 19,228, 

Money-lending : see Usury. 


asking ; exaction made by cus- 
toms officers : 80, 2)0, ^ 

MoNGHiR, town and distric in Ben- 
gal, lying between Ramgur and 
the Ganges : 58,180,218. » 

Monopoly : 40, 50, 58-60, 80, 118, 
132 inland trade monopoly, 137, 
142, 228, 231. 

MoNsoN, George : Major in regular 
army, entered East India service 
in 1758, Brigadier-General in 
1763, member of Council in 1774, 
died 1776 : 265. 

MoREA : see Mohore. 

Morrison, Major John: military 
adventurer in service of the Mogul 
in 1772 : 184. 

MouLAViE (cf. mulla), Mahomedan 
doctor of law : 314, 324, 331. 

MozA, a district equivalent to an 
English tithing : 156. 

Mubarek-ud-Daula, youngest of 
three sons of Mir J afar ; succeed- 
ed his brother Saif-t.d-Daula as 
Nawab of Bengal in March 1770, 
died «^in 1773 at Mursbidabad : 
171*, 192. 

Mufti, muftee, official exponent of 

Mahomedan law : 310, 314, 324. 
MuGG, Magh, a native of Arakan ; 

made piratical raids on the coast 

of Bengal annually. 
MuKARRARi : see Mocurrery. 
Mulberry, cultivation of: 236. 
MuLTOUT : see Mhatute. 

Alum: i85'-6. " 
MuNNi Begum, mother of Nujum- 

ud-Daula, Nawab of Bengal : 171, 

192. 797. 330. 335-6. , 
^ MuRDER,Hindu law concerning: 333. 



Murgatcha, Muragachha, Moora- 
GAUTCHA, village and zemindari 
in Nadia, twelve miles north-west 
of Krishnagar : 160, 246. [N.B. 
Moragatcha is a fort south joi 
Fulta.] f=5 

Murshid Kuli Khan, Nawab of 
Bengal 1704-26 ; fouryler of 
Murshidabad, ancescof of Siraj- 
ud-Daula |*'23. 

Murshidabad, Muxadavad, M . i'^" 
SUDABAD, capital of Bengal ry''^' 
72: 23, 27, 44,64, 72, 78, 91. 9j, 
146 Board of Revenue at, 104 
mint a|^ 226 custom-house at, 
245, 25f Poonah held at, 261 im- 
portance of, 287-8, 293, 334. 

MusNUD,, masnad, cushion which 
takes tiie place of throne in the 
East : 27. 

Muster (cf. German Muster), a 
pattern or sample : 38, 46. 

I^utahid, muttahid, a farmer! 
' publican, or contractor for the 
rents : 11, 17, 28. 

Mutiny, 213-14. ^ 

MuTSADDi, MUTASADDi, a writer : 
II, 18, 72, 73, 194, 270, 297. 

MuTTAOOT : see Mhatute. 

MuxADAVAD : see Murshidabad. 

Mysadel, district in the Calcutta 
Division : 307. 

Nadir Shah, ruler of Persia, cap- 
tured Delhi "in 1738: 224. 

Nadiyah, capital of Bengal : 23. 

Nagpur, Nagpore, territory of the 
Maratha Bhonsla fair.ily ; lapsed 
to British in 1853 ; south-western- 
most district of Bengal in eigh-« 
teenth century: (2. 

Naib, deputy ; Naibut, office of 
Naib ; Naib Suba or — Nazim 
or — DiWAN, the Deputy Nawab, 
or Nizam. This office was held 
by Mohamed Reza Khan in Ben- 
eal and Shitab Rai in Bihar from 
^765 to 1772 : 14. 61, 72-3, 151. 
171, 173, 190, ^87-91 NaibDiwan, 

Najay, a tax levied in Bengal upon 
cultivators to make up any deficit 
arising from the death of their 
neighbours : 257, 260, 297. 

S^ancar, probably a payment of 
fees for registration. The word 
seems to be derived from ndma = 
a written document : 300. 

Nandcomar : see Nuncomar. 



NaA^ab, NAfeoB, deputy-governor 
of a province for tne Mogul em- 
peror : 9, 10 position and powers 
of, 14, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 inde- 
pendence of, 25-7, 30, 82 powers 
o^* 160, 166, 167 a nonentity, 189- 
9t^Nawab's household, 327 nomi- 
nal judicial head, 336 youth of. 
NAWAB,'of)A'-cot, 103, 127. 
. —of Orissa, 30. \ 
N|M : see Nizam. 

) DiR, Raja of Kuch Behar : 

Nizam or Nawab, administrator, 
viceroy. Originally '\ military 
chief exercising crin jnal and 
police jurisdiction by virtue of 
command of troops. 

Nizam of Haiderabad, tKfe Nizam 
ul Mulk, viceroy of the Moguls 
but '.^idependent after 1707 : 115. 

NiZAMUT, the native government, 
, originally criminal and military 
jurisdiction, later general native* 
jurisdiction much restricted : 10, 
II, 14, 18, 27, 48, 61, 65, 73, 

> ii7-i9» 171-2, 219, 287, 308, 312, 
324, 331. 

Non-intervention, policy of East 
India Company and British Go- 
vernment with regard to native 
states: 116, 127-8, 139. 

North, Frederick, second Earl ©f 
Guilford, 1732-92 : Chancellor 
of Exchequer i76/». First Lord 
of Treasury 1770-82 : 102-4, 

Novemberbund, the October crop 
of raw silk in Bengal, marketed in 
the following month : 43, 46. 

NuDDEA, a district formerly in the 
Calcutta Division, now distinct : 
307. , 

NujuM, Najim-ud-Daula, Nawab 
of Bengal, succeeded his father 
Mir Jafarin 1765, died 1766 : 54, 
61, 72, 112. * 

Nuncomar, Nandkumar, Nundoc*- 
COMAR, Nundcomar, 1720-75 : 
a Brahmin, Faujdar of Hugli 
about 1756, intriguer at courts of 
Siraj-ud-Daula and Mir Jafar 
against the British, executed for 
forgery under British law in 1775, 
father of Goordass : 172, 1 94-7.1 , 


NAZR, a forced ccVitribution, a 
benevolence: 56-7, 75, 84, 274, 

Oil, 19, 308. 

Omsid, Ally Cawn, Alt Khan, 
chief customs offi<^er at Murshid- 
abad in 1765 : 79. 

Opium, drug made from poppy 
juice.,lar^elygrow7 in Bihar : 19, 
59, 129, 133, -^19, 231-2, 252-3. 

Orissa, province adjoining Bengal 
oJ south-west, made over to the 
East India Company in 1765 : 2, 
19, 23, jo, 54, 61, 105, 127. 

OuDH, province of Mogul Empire 
adjoining B/har on the north, 
ruled by* Vizier Shuja-ud-Daula 
in 1772: 26, 36, 53-5, loi, 116, 
169, 219, 227, 232. 

Outcry, auction : 246,251. 

Pacheat, Patchete, town and 
district lyipg west of Burdwan : 
2o5, 245, 274. 

Pachowtrah (Drogah), Pachol- 

» JRA, Pachautrah, Pachutra, 
Panchotra, Putchuttera, the 
chief custom-house in a district : 
78-9, 198, 273. 

Pagoda, a gold or silver coin used 
in Southern India. 

Paniput, Panipet, scene of several 
decisive battles in 1526, 1556, 
1739, and 1 76 1. In the last the 
Afghans with allies defeated the 
Mogul : 54. 

Pargana, Pergunnah, subdivision 
of the Sirkar or district ; the 
largest division of land in a Ze- 
mindari: 10, 16, 56, 75, 156 equi- 
valent to English Hundred, 313. 

— The Twenty-four Parganas, the 
Calcutta Pargana, a district be- 
longing to the East India Com- 
pany as a 2^mindari. It reached 
from Calcutta to Sagar on the 
Hugli {see Rennell's Bengal Atlas 
and Bengal District Gazettvet) : 
44 note, 48, 56, 202 settlement of, * 

, 228-9. 274, 581. 

— Battalions, a special force of 
the East India Company's distri- 
buted throug]^, the districts to 
enforce the collections of revenue 
from 1765 to 1773 : 56, 60, 177, 
179, 213, 217, 259, 271 character 
of, 322. 

Parliament, 112, 143, :j25, 263, 317, 
Patel, pathel, headman of a vil- 
lage, now only found in Southern 
and Western India : 6. 
Pathan, aft Afghan tribe : 3? 26. 


A a 



Patna, ancient capital of Bihar: 
23. 30. 36, 55-6, 91, 146 Board of 
Revenue at,(T64 mint at, 226 cus- 
tom-house at, 231 grows opium, 
232 grows saltpetre, 235, 238, 
fC45. 2 53. 2ii, 278. :^87t8, 293, 
304 Patna divisirin, 307. 

Pa'twari, village scribe, later re- 
venue ofj^cer : 6. ♦ 

Peon (cf. pawn), 25, 28-9, 71-2, 
76-7, 269. ( 

Permanent Reform of Revenue 
System, 259, 304^. 

Persia, Persian : 5, fg, 42, 224, 
245. 285, 356. ^ 

Perwannah, parwana, an order, 
licence, or writ : 80, 135. 

Peshcar, peshkar, an agent or 
deputy, a subordinate revenue 
officer : 274. ^„ 

Peshcush, peshkash, firstftuits, 
present, quit-rent. 

Peshwar, peishwar, the cl^iei^ 
minister of the Maratha power 
till 1817 : 115. 

Phirmand, phirmaund, firman, 
FARMAN, an order, mandate, or 
patent : 128. 

PiCAR, PAiKAR, a retail dealer, a 

Pike, paik, pyke, an armed atten- 
dant, messenger, watchman : 79, 
220, 246-7, 326. 

Pitt, Thomas, 1653-1726 : East 
India merchant, Governor of 
Madras, grandfather of Lord 
Chatham : 23. 

— William, 17 59-1 806: second 
son of Lord Chatham, Prime 
Minister 1783 : 94, 171, 322-3. 

Plassey, site of British victory 
which procured Bengal in 
1757, in northern district of 
Nad^a : 10, 30, 41, 46-7, 48, 93, 
160, 227, 32a.ri, 

Playdell, Charles Stafford : 
arrived at Calciitta in 1744, 
writer, senior merchant, Resident * 
at Balasore in 1757 : 93. 

Polamow.Palamait, district inChota 
Nagpur Division, Bengal, western- 
most district of Bengal : 2, 218. 

Police, 13, 27, 131, 158. 

PooNA, capital of the Maratha 
Peishwar •,171. « 

PooNAH, pooNiAH, annual session 
of the native court to deal with 
revenue assessment: 62, 255, 

Poos, PUS : the nami of a Hi'adu 
month, December-January : 313. 

PoPHAM, William : Captain in 
East India forces August 7, 1760, 
Major 1780, Major-General 1795, 
died 1821 in London : 223. 

Portuguese in India, 20, 52/"' 


of lease : 1 8, 260. ^ , ^ * 
Presents, ^7, 60. 
PresidentJ&Presidency, SUpT^^^i 

officer of East India Comp^'^^ 
three provnL j^^* 

each of the 
governor: 31-4 


37. 40-1, 
51. 53«5., 56. 94. 116. 120, 123 
President's control of Council, 
126, iy3 exceptional power of, 
150 duties of, 154, 166, 175, 194, 
200, aros, 306, 313-14. 317. 326 
Courts of Justice at Presidency, 

Prices, 224, 238-9 of silk, 241 of 

♦Prince of Wales, 321. * 

Private trade, trade between 
places within the Company's 
area, permitted to their servants 
32, 35» 40, 50» 94» 1 01 Warren 
Hastings's private trade, 132 trade 
' from port to port in India '. 

Provincial Councils, Revenue 
Councils set up in 1775 by the 
^.Temporary Plan, superseded in 
1781 : 251, 259, 291-2, 307-8. 

Pudda RivrR, Padda, Padma, 
lower part of the Ganges River, 
flowing south-east from Kasi- 
hathi to join the Brahmaputra 
estuary : 43 note 2". 

PuNCHEEK, panchaki, a tax of a 
fifth levied by Zemindars in ex<- 
cess of the propeV assessment: 26 1 . 

Pundit, pandit, a Hindu scholar 
" or officer of law : 253, 337. 

Purling, Charles : Collector of 
Rungpore 1772 : 208. 
i> — John : chairman of the Court 
^ of Directors in 1771-2 : 103, 114 
note, 146, 181. 

Purnea, town and district in Bha- 
galpur Division, Bengal : 64, pi, 
232 grows saltpetre, 256 desola- 
tion of. 

Putney, patni : (i) goods manu- 
factured to order; (2) raw silk 
not wound off, 46 ; (3) perpetual 
lease. t 

— AuRUNGS, weaving villages near 
Rampur : 43, 46. 

' I- 



Queries, Warren Hastings's sug- 
gestions for reform of native 
criminal law : 332-4. 

RiBi, RABIA, the spring ; spring 

Radanagorb, local name of silk in 
Burd;^an : 238. 
^ RAHMUDSi^AhkE (? Mahmudshi, see 
"^^^ \Renneirs Bengal A I yS, ix), 211. 

%vjrule, principality : 19 note, 66. 
^2, Hindu prince or landowner: 
/y, 24, 56, 328. 
Rajabullub, Raj Bai-labh, a 
Bengali of Dacca : » \nmanded 
^ a fleet of police boats./ father of 
^ Krishna Das, guardian of Mir 
Jafar's sons, rival of Mir^ Kasim : 
96, 296. 

Rajesh^hi, Rajshahi, Raujshahi, 

Radshay : district in Eastern 
•Bengal, former capital Murshid- 
» abad : 20, 75, 265. • , 

Raj MAHAL, former Mahomedan 

capital of Bengal, later a sub- 
, ordinate factory, now a village : 

23. 36. 213, 217. 
Ramchurn Pundit, opium farmer : 


Ramgur, Ramgarh, ancient district 
of Bengal, lying between Palamau 
and Monghir : 218, 

Ramnasain, Raja, Naib of Bahfer 
1757-60, imprisoned for pecula- 
tion by Mir Kasim and drowned 
1763 : 68-9. 

Rampur Boalia, town in Rajshahi, 
head-quarters of silk industry : 

>Records, 137, 314, 325. 

Reed, John : aTrived in Calcutta 
1760, second in Council of Re- 
venue at Murshidabad 1770, sixth' 
in Council 1772, Chief at Chitta- 
gong 1774 : 42, 246, 274, 293. 

Regulating Act, passed by Lord^^ 
North in 1773 : 104, 125, 230, » 
316. 318. 

Regulations of T^ade : 58, 119 
^note, 122-3, 151. 152 'Separate 
Regulations', 152-65 'Proposed 
Regulations '. 

Rennell, James : Captain, ap- 
pointed Surveyor-general in i76-d: 

Resident, British 9,gent at Mur- 
shidabad, Patna, Oudh, or other 
native capitals ; used occasion- 
ally of district chiefs : 45, 49, 54, 

62, 64-6, 76, 90, 93-5, 117, 124, 
129, 172. 197. 
Revenue, RevenuJ Collections : 
8, II, 12, 18, 22, 24-5, 27-8, 40-1, 
49. 53. S6-7. 60-73, 77, 79, 83, 
1 16, ' 1 1^), 122-6 'settlement 'of, 
128, 136 cont?ol of, 138 decrease 
in^ 150 reform of collections, 151 
season, 1 56 native collectors, 1 59— 
64 regulations concerning, 203 
reforms of, 218 of hill country, 
219, 236, 255-308 reforms affect- 
ing. 3i9.#328. 

— (i) Boards founded at Murshid- 
abad and Patna in June 1770 : 56, 
67, 91, 120-1, 149, 287, 297. 
These supplement the Calcutta 
Revenue Department. 

— (2) Committee of the Calcutta 
Cfjuncil fo? Revenue, or Control- 
ling Council of, created April i, 
1 77 1, to supersede (i) : 225, 229, 

' 156-7, 288. 

: — (3) Supreme Board of Revenue 
created August 20, 1772 : 288— 
95 supersedes all existing Re- 
venue Boards. 

Resolutions for settlement of 
LANDS, 258, 274-7. 

Responsibility for Government 
OF Bengal : 147 divorced from 
power, 166 of East India Com- 
pany acknowledged, 226 assumed. 

Revolution in Government of 
Bengal, 285. 

Rider, Jacob : arrived at Calcutta 
in 1763, Supervisor of Kistnagar 
in 1772 : 89. 

Rockingham, Lord, second Mar- 
quess, 1730-82 : 102. 


Afghan co^lquerors of Rohilkand, 
who threw off the Mogul rule in 
1744. State lying betwecx^ pelhi 
and Oudh : 169 character of , 170, i 
1 81-9 expedition against. 

Rosewell, J !)HN : arrived in Cal- 
cutta 1765, assistant in Secre- 
tary's office 1766, naval store- 
keeper 1772, "and one of the 
agents for clothing Pargana se- 
poys : 292. 

RossALAH, a troop of cavalry : 55. 

Rous, Charles William Bough- 
ton ? arrived at Calcutta in 1765, 
Supervisor of Radshahi in 1772 : 
89, 336. 

RowANNi»ii, a pass or permit : 80, 
245, 249. 



Roy, revenue officer : 76. 

Roy Doolub, Rai Durlabh, Diwan 
under Siraj-ad-Daula, captures 
Calcutta in 1756, makes terms 
with British, Naib o£ Orissa in 
'1-765 : 61, yt. f ' 

Ro^YROYAN, suprenife revenue officer 
under the Diwan, head of the 
Khalsa.'Mi, 14, 25, 71, 195 of 
Bihar, 287, 289, 296. 

RuNGPORE. Rangpur, a town and 
district in Eastern, Bengal : 52, 
179, 212-3. « 

Rupee, common silver coin of India. 

— SICCA. 'The new sicca or the 
current coin of the current year, 
is the medium by which the rest 
are estimated.' (Note by Warren 
Hastings.) In 1773 the sicca rupee 
weighed iyg'666 gr.txoy. In<X793 
the sicca rupee was worth 179*13 
grains of silver =■ 2s. 2d. : 164-5, 

233-4. ^ ' 

— Chalani, common current rupee, 
ii6beingequalto 100 sicca rupees. 

— Dell (? Delhi), current at the 
Putney Aurungs : 46. 

— DusMUSSA, minted at Murshid- 
abad or Dacca : 164. 

— Ely, minted at Patna : 164. 
Russell, probably a free merchant : 


Ryot, reiat, raiyat, a peasant 
cultivator : 5, 9, 21, 28-9, 38, 76, 
80-2,84,87, 121, 124,219,257,320. 

Ryotwari, a system of tenure in 
which each ryot is separately re- 
sponsible for the revenue as con- 
trasted with joint village-holding. 
It is now restricted to Southern 
India, though once common in 
Bengal : 6. • 

Sadij, Supreme, applied to Calcutta 
' Courts of Apfieal, Sadr Diwani 
and Sadr Faujdari: 313, 324, 
326. • 

Sahir, a custom-house (cf. satr = 
duties and customs levied at 
Hugh) : 241. «* 

Saif-ud-Daula, Nawab of Bengal 
from 1 766 to 1 7 70, son of Mir J afar. 

Salami, a douceur, a complimen- 
tary present : 274. 

Salaries, 34, 35, 40, 108 'Madras 
salaries, 134 reduced salaries, 308. 

Salsette, island off Bombay, per- 
manently acquired by the British 

. in 1783 : 128. 

Salt, 1^^) 21, 50, 58-60, 80, 129, 135, 
141, 219, 228-32 monopoly, 244 
duties, 252 Hastings's plan, 

Saltpetre, a natural product ^Uf 

Bihar: 19, 36, 133, 219, 232^- 
Sanad, Sunnud, diploma, charter, 
or patent: 8, 14, 15, 16 ^ 24, 40, 

186, 327 

Sastra, s: 

ture, a 

•an, Nawab of Ben^?' 

^•er, a Hindu 
c of authority : 3^.' 
ined city in the Hugli 

districlP't'a former 

ScRAFTON, Luke: arrived in Cal- 
cutta ,J746, fourth at Dacca in 
1753, Clive's agent at Court of 
Siraj-ud-Daula : 66, 93, 94, 113. 

Secret Committee of th^ Cal- 
cutta Council. First met on 
August 22, 1756, on board tht 
schooner Phoenix. Members : 
R. Drake. W. Watts, Major Kill- 
patrick, John Holwell. Members , 
in 1772 : Hastings, Barker, and 

Secretary to the Council, 35, 37, 
42, 203, 204, 293. 

Seer, a measure of weight, contain- 
ing 2 lb. 

Si KKETOUL, capital of Rohilkand : 

Select Committee of the Cal- 
cutta Council, created by order 
of the Directors on December 1 5, 
1756 : 58. S9> 62, 6;», 133 consti- 
tution and powers of, 317. 

Senior, Ascanius William : ar* 
rived at Calcutta in 1753, second 
at Dacca in 1762 : 70. 

»Seniassee : see Suniassee. 

Sepoy, native soldier, originally 
a horseman : 34, 54-5, 151, 212- 
^ 18, 274, 306, 308. 
I Servants of the East India Com- 
*PANY : 33-5, 40, 42, 72-3, 108-9, 
112, 119, 125, 131-2 duties and 
salaries of, 133, 137, 139, 1^0 
junior servants, 142, 168 charac- 
ter of, 244 senior servants, 308, 

Seth, Sett, Hindu bankers of emi- 
• nence of the Jain sect who settled 
at Govindp^ir in sixteenth cen- 
tury : 22, 31, 234. 
— Mahtab Rai, grandson of Path 
Chand Jagat Seth. 


1^ INI 'AND 

Seth, Sarup Chand, gr idson of 
Jagat Seth. ? 

Settlement of the Lan is : 90-2, 
122, 151 need for, 13^-62 pro- 
posed regulations for, 255-86 
V ctual Regulations for, 258-66 
further Regulations for, 263 plan 
of 1775 for. 319. 

Sezawils, supervisor? collectors 
of revenue : 157-, ^ulation 6, 
'^te, 160. 1 

Alam, MogUi jeror 1759- 
1 806, lived at Alia. Jad 1 765-7 1 , 
in power of Rohil. \nd Mara- 
thas 1771-8 : 31, I 61. 

Shahbunder, officer of justoms at 
Dacca, harbour-master : 273. 

Chah Jehan, Mogul emp-^ror 1627- 
58 : 10. 

Share*^ in East India Company, 
112, 113. 

SpASTER : see Sastra. 

Shicdar, sickdar, revenuti officer 
appointed by Khalsa or by Ze- 
mindar to collect from a small 
, district: 247,269,287,311. 

Shipping, East India Company's 
ships : Asia, 237 ; Greenwich, 
183 ; Harcourt, 290, 303 ; Hector, 
198 ; Lord Holland, 236 ; Reso- 
lution, 238 ; Rochford, 141 ; Roch- 
ingham, 217. ^ 

Shitab Roy, Mohamed, native of 
Delhi : Diwan ai^ Patna, Naib- 
Nazim under the Dual System in 
Bihar 1765-72, died 1773 : 61, 
166-7, 192 trial of, 196, 198, 199, 

Shore, Sir John, First Lord Teign- 
' mouth, 1751-1834: arrived at 
Calcutta 1769; assistant to Resi- 
dent at Murshidabad and super- 
intendent of Adalut Novembe/ 
1773, returned to England 1785-7, 
Governor-General 1793-8 : 12, 

255, 262, 264, 266, 292, 323. :) 

Shroff, Hindu banker or mon-jy-' 
changer: 21-2, 27, 85, 161, 165, 
234, 254. , 

SjHuja-ud-Daula, Shuja Dowla, 
SujA Dowla, Naib Wazirof Oudh 
1754-5 : 54-5. 116, 134 trade 
with, 170, 181-9, 227, 279. 

Shuja Sultan, Nawab of Bengal, 
1639-60, brother of Aurungzeb* 

Silk, 3, 19, 20, 36, 43, 81, 129, 142 
price of, 236 worm culture con- 
fined to one caste. 


SiNDHiA Mahadji, Maratha Chief 
of Gwalior : defeated at Panipat 
by Ahmad Shan in 1761, con- 
trolled Delhi 1769-74, made 
treaty with British 1782: 115716, 
167: ' 

Sir, cultivator's holding : 9. > 

Sipat-ud-Daula, Nawab of Bengal 
1756-7, son of Ali Yerdi Khan: 
captur«^d Kasimbazar and Cal- 
cutta in 1756, defeated at Plassey 
1757 and killed : 40,41,44,47.93- 

Sirdar, s.irdar, a chief, headman, 
or conimander. 

SiRKAR, ciRCAF?, SIRCAR : (i) Sub- 
division of a province or suba ; 
(2) Northern Circars, the five 
northernmost provinces of Ma- 
dras, acquired by the British in 
1/68: io,'76-7, 127, 137, 156, 272. 

SiVAji, founder of the Maratha 
power, 1627-80 : 115. 

Smith, Adam, 1723-90, political 
economist, author of Wealth of 
Nations : 322. 

— Charles : arrived at Madras 
in 1753. sub-expdrt-warehouse- 
keeper in 1770 : 103, 109, 223. 

Smith or Smyth, Harry : arrived 
at Calcutta in 1749, factor at 
Luckipore in 1757 : 93. 

— N., Chairman of Directors 1784 : 
96 note. 

Society of Trade : see Committee 
of Trade. 

Soubah, Suba, a province, a govern- 
ment : 9, 10, 68, 72, 75. 

SouBAHDAR, military deputy, go- 
vernor of a province under the 
Moguls, Captain of East India 
Company's forces. 

Specie, 85, ^33. 

Spencer, Hon. John : arrived in 
Calcutta 1 764, second in Crsuncil, 
President 1764: 53, 112 Spen- 
cer's Councillors prosecuted, 118. 

Stewart, Jc/hn : arrived at Cal- 
cutta August 29, 1772, secretary, 
clerk to Court of Appeals, Judge- 
Advocate-General in 1773 (?)-7, 
received Lieutenant - Colonel's 
pay ; 203 Secretary to Council 
at Calcutta, 265. 

— Roi^ERT. There were two Robert 
Stewarts in the service simultane- ^ 
ously : (i) Cadet 1764, Captain' 
1770,' died 1820 ; (2) Ensign 1765, 
Captaia 1770, died iy8(J: 180, 

•338 INDEX 

Stipend, Revenue or pension 
to the Nawah by the Comp 
ii8, 129, 184, 233. 

Storekeeper, 37, 204. 

Stu,\rt, Charles, son of^ 
bute : arrivea iq,Calc\ftta 
secretary to the Command' 
Chief 1765, Supervisor 1769, 
dent at Bfirdwan 1772 : 89, 

Subordinate Factories 32 
42, 76, 78. 131-2, 137, 156 fo 
of, 237. « 

SuDDER : see Sadr. 

Sudder ul Hue Cawn, Pres 
of the Sadr Fau^dari unde 
Nawab : 336. 



SuLiVAN, Lawrence : ^Direct 
East India Company, Deputy 
Chairman in 1773, afterwards 
Chairman: 103, 199, 265. 

Sumner, Brightwell : arrived at 
Calcutta 1744, fifth in 1761, se- 
cond in 1766 : 58. 

— John : arrived at Calcutta 1764, 
assistant in Secret Department 193. 

Suniassee, Sunnyasi, Seniassee, 
SoNASSY, Sannyasi I onc who 
abandons the world ; religious 
banditti: 178-9,213-17,235,245. 

SuNNUD : see Sanad. 

Supernumerary battalions, 217. 

Supervisors, English officials to 
supervise the revenue collections 
(for Commission of Supervisors, see 
Commission) : 65-7, 85-92, up- 
country, 113, 116, 118-19 reports 
from, 120 'heavy rulers', 133, 
142 ill effects of, 145 withdrawn, 
146, 148-9 powers of, 150, 156, 
190,228,255,258 maae collectors, 
287. . 


* up by Regulating Act, 281. 
SuRAjAH DowLA : See Siraj-ud- 

Daula. • 
SuRAT, first British station in India, 

north of Bomba^^ 127. 
Survey, 235. 

SuTALUTi, SuTANUTi, Calcutta vil- 
lage : see Chuttanutta. 

Sykes, Francis : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 17^1, Assistant %t Ka- 
simbazar in 1756, creates local 
Revenue Boards 1765, Resident 
atMurshidabad 1765-8: 5*4, 64-5, 
78, 8l, 93, 96, 167, 225,*255, 287, 

• 333. 

lANDA, ancieni capiicti vjl 4^11^0,1 . 

^ Tashkhis, teshcush, revenue a#- 
% sessnfent, ' conjectural valua* 
tion' : 298. 

Teep (cf. English Hp), a present: 57. 

Teignmouth, Lord : see Shore. 

Temporary Plan of Revenue {see 
Revenue) : 304-5. 

Tenasserim, town in Burmah : 19. 

Tenure : see Settlement. 

Terry, terai, jungle-terry, dis- 
tricts which receive drainage from 
hills and thus have peculiarities 
of soil, and* climate unhealthy : 

Thomas, George: Ensign in 1763, 
Captain 1766, killed by Sun- 
nyassis December 29/17/2 : 216. 

Tipperah, district in Eastern Ben- 
gal : 307. • 

Tirhut, former di"strict in north- 
eastern Bengal, now divided : 2, 

• 23. 

Tobacco, 3, 15, 19, 58-60, 80, 130 
open trade in, 232 thirty per cent. 

• duty on, 244, 251, 308. 

•r<V5AR Mal, Hindu Raja, finance 
minister to Akbar, 1580 : 8. 

Toomar jumma,. \kbar's assessment 
made in 1571 for Delhi, &c., ai^ 
in 1 582 for Bengal ; first recorded 
assessment for India. 

Touzee, tauji, a book of monthly 

^^accounts, the collector's rent-roll 
or register of persons from whom 
revenue is due : 272. 

Trade {see also Inland Trade, Pri- 
vate Trade, Investment and 
Monopoly) : 3, 5, 16, 18-20, 32, 



35-41, 7 -5, 78-9, Si. abuses, 
117 trade to be free, ) ^,130 of 
servants restricted, \3 Com- 
mittee of Trade create^ ^134, 142, 
162 duties removed,, /87 trade 
with Oudh, 219-54 ri brms, 242 
wA-ade with Europe, z' \- 
Treasury, Company'? ;in Cal- 
■ cutta: , 1^3 Calcutti i>mmittee 
of, 137, 138, 170 ions of, 

184, 228, 233-5. " 

\TY : 133 pc /t. 
.AL OF Warren 'wS, 323. 

"rRiBUTE, share of L -enues 
paid to the MogV —preme 
landowner: 55 a ^t of, 61, 
147 withheld, 167-9,", 07, 233 ' a 
drain on currency '. 
^i'uccAUBEE, TAKAVi, advances made 
to cultivators at sowing time, or 
in b-d seasons : 275. 
TuMLOOK : see Tamluk. 
TusHKEES : see Tashkhis. 


a bounty granted to servants in 
lieu of the Inland Trade mono- 
poly : 60, 132, 138, 174. 

Uj AGGER Mull, Amil of Jessore : 

Usury, 161, 20 to 30 per cent., 259, 

Vackeel, wakil, an agent, amb*as- 
sador, attorney, messenger : 27- 
8, 71, 161, 168-9. 

Vansittart, George : arrived at 
Calcutta in 1761, Resident at 
Midnapore in 1768, Supervisor 
1769, Second on Revenue Board 

' at Patna 17:^1, Chief at Patna 
1772 : 89, 90, 323, 334, 337. 

— Henry : arrived in Madras in 
1746, transferred to Calcutta iii 
1760, President 1760-4, Director 
1769, lost at sea with other Super- 
visors 1769 : 51, 53, 60, 66, 96- > 
102 government of, 112, 113, 152,' 
175, 278, 323. 

Verelst, Harry : arrived at Cal- 
) cutta 1749, Chief at Chittagong 
in 1762, President 1767-9 : 58, 
65, 83, 114 note, 175, 223. 323. 

Vern w, Ralph, second Earl, 17 12- 
91 : Whig poHtician, M.P. fpr 
Buckinghamshire 1768-91, pa- 

tron of Edmund Burke, squan- 
dered his estate : 112. 

Village community, i, 6, 7, 46, 
109, 209-1 1. ' 

Vizier, WAZIR, the Subadar of Oudh, 
whc> was Vizier of the Mogul E!m- 
pire' {s3e Shuja-ad-Dowla) : '48, 
54, loi, 116, 166, 181-9, 202, 227. 

Waller, Samuel : ai rived at Cal- 
cutta in 1744, writer, factor at 
Dacca 1757 : 93. 

Warehouse deeper, servant in 
charge of investment goods at 
a dipot or factory : 37, 109, 

Watts, Hugh : arrived at Calcutta 
in 1753, Commissary-general in 

— William : arrived at Calcutta 
ii 1737, fifth at Patna in 1745, 
Zemindar of Calcutta in 175 1, 
Chief at Kasimbazar in 1753-8, 
probably left India in that year : 
43.46, 93. 

Wazir : see Vizier. 

* Wealth of Nations,' Adam 
Smith's classic on economics, 
published 1776: 221. 

Weavers, 38, 43, 46, 109, 237. 

WiLMOT, Robert : arrived at Cal- 
cutta in 1764, Supervisor of Jes- 
sore in 1770 : 89. 

Writer, clerk, the lowest rank in 
the East India Company's service, 
nominal salary £$ : 35-7, 42, 74-5. 

Yetasaub (cf . yati = an ascetic ; 
jfett-ryot = senior of a village), a 
judicial officer : 326. 

Zabita KhaN, Buxey of the Mogul 
Empire, son of Najib-ud-Daula ; 
defeated by Ma^athas in Bijnor 
about 1770, and in Rohilkand iii 
1 77 1, ruled in Saharanpur 1770- 
85: 185. ' 

Zemindar, district revenue col- 
lector, publican, farmer of the 
taxes: 8-9, ki, 17, 18, 25, 28, 
36, 40, 44. 48. 53. 56, 62-3, 71-2, 
77, 80, 128, 157, 159-61 powers 
of, 178, 209 functions of , 260, 264 
Francis's views of, 280-6 rights of, 
312, 330. 





Ain-i-Akban, bV Abu'l Fuzl' 
Aitrheson, C. U". Treaties, E 
Baden-Powell. The Indian I 
Bernier. Ti-avels in Hindosta 
Beveridge, Henry. A Coppf 
Broome, Captain A. History 
Buchanan-Hamilton.'-Dr. F. 
Buckle, E. Bengal ArtiXery. 

Calendar of Persian Correspo , / 

Census of India, i^i. / 

Dodwell and Miles. Indian . 

Dow, Alex. History of Hino 

Elphinstone. History of Indt... 

Ferishta. History of the Dekk n. Translate 

Forrest, Sir George. The Administration oj warren xiasnng^ *y» ^^tgi**. 
„ Selections from the Dispatches of Governors-General of 

Bengal. Wajfren Hastings. § 
M ,» Selections f^om Stf te Peters preserved in the ForeigtP 


Foster, W. The English Factories in India, 1630-4. 

Francis, Philip. Original Papers relative to the Disturbances in Bengal, 1782. 

(India Office Catalogue, p. 165.) 
Gladwin, Francis. A Narrative of the Transactions in Bengal. 
Gleig, G. R. Memoirs of Warren Hastings. 
Hill, S. C. List of Europeans in the Siege of Calcutta, 1756. 

„ Three Frenchmen in Bengal. 

„ „ Bengal, 3 vols. Indian Recoi^d Series. 
Catalogue of Or me MSS. 
Hoey, W. Memoirs of Delhi and Faizabad. « 
Holdich. India (Regions of thd World Series). 

Hunter, Sir W. W. Annals of Rural Bengal. Bengal MS. Records. 
Ilbert, Sir C. The Government of India. 

Innes, P. R. Bengal European Regiment. • 

Kaye, Sir J. W. Administration of the East India Company. 

Martin, Montgomery. History of Eastern India. • 

Morley, John, Lord. Life of Edmund Burke, * 

Parliamentary Papers, Vol. vii. East India Military Caletfdar. 

Prinscp, J. Useful Tables. 

'Ramchunder Doss. General Register of the Honourable East India Company's 
Civil Servants of the Bengal Establishment, 1 790-1 842. Calcutta, 1844. 

Reports of Committees 'of the House of ^oncmons, vols, iii-v. 

Sair Mutaqherin, or a View of Modern Times, being a History of India 
from the year 11^ to 1195 of the Hedijah. From the Persian of 
Ghulam Hussein Khan. , 

Shore, John. Life of Lord Teignmouth. 

Stephen, Sir J. Fitz James. Nuncomar and Impey. 

Strachey, Sir J. Hastings and the Rohilla War. 

Tieff en thaler, J. Description de I'lnde.^ ^ 
Vansittart, H. A Narrative of Transactions in Bengal from 1760 to i;64. 
Wheeler, J. T. Early Records of British India. Calcutta, 1878. 
Williams, Captain. Historical Account of the Bengal Native Infantry. 
Wilson,* C. R. Old Fort William. Early Annals of the English in Bengal. 
> H. W. Glossary of Indian Terms. 




DS Jones, Mary Evelyn Monckton 

Warren Hastings in Bencal